CWI continues plans for Pakistan tour
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
Cricket West Indies (CWI) said it plans to fulfil its tour obligations wherever possible, including to Pakistan in December.
CWI chief executive officer (CEO) Johnny Grave said the sport’s regional governing body will follow the same measures they did three years ago when the Windies, under Jason Mohammed, were swept convincingly in three Twenty20 (T20) Internationals in Karachi.
“At this stage, our intention is to fulfil our touring obligations,” Grave told the Trinidad Newsday newspaper. “We’ve got a pretty clear process that we go through with independent security experts, like we did in 2018.
“We will follow that process, the board of directors, WIPA (West Indies Players’ Association), as well as the players themselves will review the plans and our reports, including the independent security advice. Most of our women’s and men’s players have played in Pakistan in the last few years.”
The Caribbean’s side tour of Pakistan came into sharp focus after New Zealand abandoned its tour to the south Asian country last Friday citing security concerns, and England withdrew on Monday from sending their men’s and women’s team there for similar reasons.
“We don’t have to make an imminent decision,” Grave told Newsday. “We will just go through the process first, with the PCB and the security experts.
“We’ll have a meeting with the players to answer any questions and give them all the information. We’re just at the start of that process now, with the women’s team just finishing against South Africa.
“We’re firming up our plans, with the World Cup qualifiers and, from a men’s perspective, we’re focused very much on the (T20) World Cup. That’s the major operations focus.
“We’re looking at getting our T20 players to the World Cup and our Test players into Antigua for a camp, and then over to Sri Lanka. We’re not due (in Pakistan) with the men’s team until December 9, so we’ve got a bit of time.”
West Indies are scheduled to play three One-day Internationals and three T20 Internationals in Pakistan.
International sides have largely shunned Pakistan over the past 13 years following an attack on a Sri Lanka team bus heading to a match in Lahore.
The Pakistanis have played most of their home international matches in the United Arab Emirates, but they have been pushing in the past three years to host them on home soil in effort to spark further interest in the sport in the country.
Apart from West Indies, Zimbabwe, the Sri Lankans, South Africa and Bangladesh have played international matches in Pakistan with little or no trouble.
“I had a call with Wasim Khan, the Pakistan CEO, (on Tuesday) morning to find out everything that had happened during the past week, on the back of New Zealand abandoning their tour and England’s decision not to go there, and to suggest that we have another call later this week with our operational teams to discuss our women’s and men’s tours that are scheduled for later this year,” Grave told Newsday.
“We’ll speak to our independent security consultants, ESI, who we used back in 2018 when we went to Pakistan. We’ve had an initial meeting with WIPA too about it, and we’re going to follow the same process, that we have done in the past.”