West Indies agree to tour Pakistan
The Pakistan Cricket Board authorities heaved a sigh of relief as the West Indies have given them a green signal of touring Pakistan from Jan 25 to March 7 for three Tests and as many One-Day matches.
A PCB spokesman announced the itinerary on Thursday. It will be the first tour of any foreign senior team to Pakistan since a year. India refused to tour Pakistan in Jan-Feb due to political reasons. Later, New Zealand cancelled their tour to Pakistan at the eleventh hour after the Sept 11 air attacks on US and took back their team in midway from Singapore after listening to the news of attacks there.
The West Indies tour was also in doldrums due to security reasons in the wake of the US retaliation attacks on Afghanistan, however International Cricket Council (ICC) saved the PCB from further losses by taking a decision that under such circumstances a series could be shifted to a neutral venue.
The West Indies tour, as second option, could also be shifted to a neutral venue, most probably Kenya. The West Indies team will arrive at Islamabad on Jan 25 to start its tour with a three-day side game at the KRL ground, Rawalpindi from Jan 28 to 30.
The first Test will be held at Rawalpindi from Feb 2to7 with one day rest on Feb 5 due to Kashmir Day.
The second Test is allotted to Peshawar and is scheduled to be held from Feb 11 to 15.
The third Test is scheduled to be held at Faisalabad from Feb 19 to 23.
The three-match One-Day series will begin with the opener at Lahore on Feb 28. The second and third One-Dayer will be held at Multan on March 3 and Karachi on March 6, respectively.
Itinerary of the tour:
Jan 25 (Friday): Arrival at Islamabad from Karachi.
Jan 26 (Saturday): Travel/Rest/Nets.
Jan 27 (Sunday): Nets.
Jan 28 to 30 (Mon-Wed.): Three-Day Game at KRLground, Rawalpindi.
Jan 31 and Feb 1: Rest and Nets.
Feb 2 to 7 (Sat-Thurs): First Test at Rawalpindi (Feb 5 Rest- Day due to Kashmir Day).
Feb 8 to 10: Travel and Nets.
Feb 11 to 15 (Mon-Thurs): Second Test at Peshawar.
Feb 16 to 18: Travel/Rest/Nets.
Feb 19 to 23 (Tue-Sat): Third Test at Faisalabad.
Feb 24 to 27: Travel/ Rest/Nets.
Feb 28 (Thurs): First One-Day at Lahore.
March 1-2: Travel/Rest/Nets.
March 3 (Sunday): Second One-Day at Multan.
March 4-5: Travel/Rest/Nets.
March 6 (Wed): Third One-Day at Karachi.
March 7: Departure.