Sunday, Jan 20, 2019

CWI silent on historic tour, squad

CWI silent on historic tour, squad
29 Mar

Tickets for the highly anticipated three-match Twenty20 series between Pakistan and West Indies went on sale in Karachi on Wednesday but with the first match set to bowl off Sunday, Cricket West Indies are yet to confirm the series or announce a squad for the historic tour.

The series will represent the first time a major Test-playing nation will tour Pakistan, following the 2009 terrorist attacks on a Sri Lanka team bus which injured several players and left several of the security forces dead.

Since then, Pakistan played their home series in the United Arab Emirates.

The series against the Windies comes as the Pakistan Cricket Board looks to revive tours of a country once marked by the volatility of separatist violence.

To date, however, CWI are yet to even acknowledge the staging of the series which bowls off in four days, or make any public pronoucements on the security situation in Pakistan.

Last August, the Dave Cameron-led body said they were “advancing discussions” on the prospect of a series in November of that year.

CWI said then the proposed tour would be “subject to the safe conclusion of the ICC World XI team’s three match series in Lahore in September [2017] and affirmation of manageable security by the ICC sponsored international security company overseeing the security arrangements of the World XI in September.”

That series was eventually scrapped due to smog and the unavailability of Windies players, with a similar tour in early 2017 squashed previously because of security fears.

Further, there has been no word on the availability of key West Indies players especially with the Indian Premier League starting April 7.

Key members of the squad like captain Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis are all expected to turn out in the IPL for their respective franchises. All three represented West Indies in the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe which ended last Sunday.

Doubt also remains over the availability of Sunil Narine after he was reported for an illegal action during the Pakistan Super League this month, while Kieron Pollard will be similarly in doubt after pulling out of the T20 series in New Zealand last December and also making himself unavailable for the qualifiers.

West Indies last toured Pakistan 12 years ago when Brian Lara’s side lost a three-match Test rubber, 2-0 and conceded the ODI series, 3-1.

However, following the successful staging of the ICC World XI series in Lahore last September, the ICC praised the PCB on security improvements, paving the way for future international tours.

World champions West Indies will play all three T20 Internationals at the National Stadium in Karachi on April 1, 2 and 3 and international media reports said ICC general manager Geoff Allardice would be attending the series.

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