Pakistan news December 19, 2012

Pakistan's tour of West Indies to be split

Pakistan's tour of the West Indies in July 2013 is likely to be split into two parts in order to accommodate the PCB's plan of hosting India in August for a series that is yet to be confirmed. Pakistan were due to play two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s in the Caribbean in June and July but now they will only play either Tests or limited-overs matches to create a window for India.

According to the FTP, West Indies are scheduled to host Pakistan from the last week in June to the last week in July but they also have a tri-series against India and Sri Lanka during that time. To avoid the clash with Pakistan, the WICB had asked the PCB if their Caribbean tour could be rescheduled to August. That, however, would interfere with the PCB's hopes of hosting India, so Pakistan's West Indies tour had to be split.

ESPNcricinfo understands that after the upcoming limited-over series in India starting on December 25, the PCB is hoping to invite India to play another series in Pakistan.

"The limited-over series isn't [just] what we wanted," a PCB official said. "We wanted long-term bonding with India on reciprocal basis, and to extend our relationship we will invite India to play a series next year in August. We will find a way to at least keep the window open."

Cricket ties between Pakistan and India were put on ice following the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai and the upcoming series will be the first in four years.

Pakistan had also sought a postponement of its scheduled tour of Zimbabwe later this month so that they can tour India. Pakistan were scheduled to tour Zimbabwe before their South Africa visit in 2013, but Zimbabwe Cricket agreed to put it off.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent