West Indies axes Pakistan tour
Karachi (AFP): Pakistan’s hopes of hosting international cricket matches suffered another setback on Saturday after the West Indies refused to compete in a short two Twenty20 match series in the South Asia nation over security fears.
No major team has toured Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. They play their “home” series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had proposed holding a two-match series in the spring after hosting the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore on March 9.
However PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said the potential tour had been axed.
“The West Indies Board have conveyed to us verbally that the ‘thing’ is off,” Khan told AFP.
“The West Indies players’ union is not willing, so at the moment they have refused.”
Pakistan did host Zimbabwe for three Twenty20s and as many one-day internationals in May-June 2015. But that failed to convince the bigger teams to resume tours.
Cricket officials in Pakistan are now hoping the successful staging of the PSL final in Lahore will encourage foreign teams to consider competing again in the country.
“We are the confirmed hosts of the PSL final in Lahore, so once its done it will create an opening plus former England cricket head Giles Clarke is visiting Pakistan from January 28 so he will also assess the situation,” said Khan.
“Foreign teams rely a great deal on the travel advisories from their embassies in Pakistan so once that changes and becomes positive only then we can expect to convince teams (to come),” said Khan.