Pakistan hopes to host West Indies for Twenty20s

Pakistan hopes to host West Indies for Twenty20s
Najam Sethi. (FILE PHOTO: AFP)
Shukriya Pakistan

LAHORE: Najam Sethi said Tuesday it hoped the West Indies would agree to play two Twenty20 internationals in the country in March despite security concerns.

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).

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.

Pakistan Cricket Board executive committee chief said he was hopeful that the West Indies would tour for two Twenty20 games on March 18 and 19.

“We have invited West Indies for two Twenty20 internationals and their security team is due to visit Pakistan later this month, so we are hopeful of hosting the matches,” Sethi told reporters.

Sethi said he believed the successful hosting of the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), a T20 contest, in Lahore on March 9 would pave the way for a West Indies tour.

“We have decided to stage the final of PSL and once it is staged successfully that will open the way for the West Indies tour,” he said.

Pakistan were forced to host the inaugural edition of the PSL in the UAE last year.

The West Indies Cricket Board confirmed it was considering the tour proposal, subject to a security clearance.

If it goes ahead there will be two reciprocal Twenty20 matches in Lauderhill in the US state of Florida ahead of Pakistan’s tour to the Caribbean in March-April.

Pakistan did try to persuade the West Indies to play three Twenty20 internationals in Lahore before their full series last year in the UAE.

But the proposal was rejected due to security fears.

Efforts to persuade Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ireland to tour Pakistan have also failed in the last five years.