Karachi set to host Pakistan-West Indies T20Is

Giles Clarke

SHARJAH: Pakistan's cricket authorities were on Tuesday forced to change the itinerary of their eagerly-awaited Twenty20 global series against the visiting West Indies because of the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

It's time for the people of Pakistan to rejoice.

Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium hosted two Twenty20 and three one-day internationals against Zimbabwe in 2015; last year's final of the PSL and three T20 internationals against a World XI; as well as a T20 worldwide match against Sri Lanka, demonstrating the country's improved security. Pakistan have played almost all their "home" matches in the UAE since then.

"I have been working day and night to conclude an agreement with West Indies which I have finalized", PCB chairman Najam Sethi said. And to add to that, West Indies agreed to tour the cricket-starved country for three T20Is which were initially scheduled for 1st, 2nd, and 4th April, but the dates have now been changed to 1st, 2nd and 3rd April - which means three games will be played on three consecutive days. They will not play in Lahore but in Karachi.

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Following this, the playoffs and the finals of the on-going PSL 3 have been shifted to Lahore and Karachi from the UAE.

Sethi said Reg Dickason, the ICC's security consultant, would visit Karachi during the PSL final to look at the security arrangements for the series. The idea wasn't to make money; it was to bring cricket back, so this is a step in that direction. This will be a one-off series, since, as I told you before, it will be a loss-making enterprise.

The West Indies are the reigning World Twenty20 champions, after winning the title in India in 2016.

In November, last year, Sethi had stated that Cricket West Indies and Pakistan Cricket Board had signed an agreement to play T20Is series every year for a period of next five years, in Pakistan and the USA.


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