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Upbeat Pakistan ready to host Windies, Lanka

Lahore to be the only preferred venue for now: Sethi

Image Credit: AFP
Pakistani and World XI cricket players pose for a photograph at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on September 13, 2017, before the start of the second Twenty20 international match between the World XI and Pakistan.
Gulf News

Karachi: Pakistan is set to host the West Indies in a short three-match Twenty20 series in Lahore at the end of November this year, a top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said.

“The agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board has been finalised and done and they have confirmed they will come to Lahore in November to play three T20 Internationals,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi said.

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Speaking on a television channel on Wednesday night, Sethi said the itinerary for the matches against West Indies would be announced soon.

He said that Sri Lanka has also confirmed to play a lone T20 international on October 29 in Lahore.

“I am still trying to convince Sri Lanka to play at least two matches in the coming series in Lahore,” Sethi said.

If both the tours materialise, it would be the first time since the militants attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March, 2009 that Pakistan would witness a proper international season at home, starting with the ongoing tour by the World XI.

Security concerns

No top Test playing nation has visited Pakistan due to security concerns since the deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team in which at least six Pakistani policemen were killed.

Although the PCB did manage to bring Zimbabwe to Lahore for a short limited over series in May, 2015, those matches were not approved by the International Cricket Council.

Sethi said the tour by the West Indies is an important milestone as it would be a proper bilateral series in Pakistan and it would open the windows for the PCB to negotiate with other cricket playing nations.

Sethi said with five South African current players in the World XI side presently in Lahore, the PCB would holds talks with Cricket South Africa to consider sending the full South African team for a short bilateral series sometime next year.

“Right now we are compelled to play only in Lahore but obviously with time we will schedule matches at other Test venues like Karachi, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan, he said.

Sethi said Karachi would definitely be hosting at least four matches of the third Pakistan Super League next year in February.

The PCB chief also promised a relaxation in security arrangements for the general public in time. “Right now we can’t take any risks. We know the security plans being enforced for the World XI matches are causing some inconvenience to the people. As we host more foreign teams we will have relaxations but without compromising on the security for visiting teams or our players,” Sethi said.

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