Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron said it was a "challenge" to convince the West Indies players that it was safe to visit Pakistan. Cameron was on a two-day trip to the country to watch the final T20I of the World XI series, an event which the PCB hopes will convince other nations to send their teams for international tours.
"I have enjoyed my two days in Pakistan," Cameron said in a press conference at Gaddafi Stadium on Friday. "As Najam [Sethi, the PCB chairman] said, we've been talking about this for some time and have our own challenges back in the West Indies. We're only 5 million people, and as you heard there was recently a hurricane passing through our islands as well. But my challenge is to convince the players that it's safe enough. It's our duty to help as well. I felt that if I came over here to show that it's safe enough that would go some way in convincing the players. InshAllah [God-willing] in November, we'll be here."
This is the second time PCB has approached West Indies to tour, after they refused to travel to Pakistan in March upon receiving security advice from the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA). In the report then, FICA warned that the risk level in Pakistan remained "at an extremely elevated state" and that "an acceptable level of participant security and safety cannot be expected or guaranteed". It had also discouraged players strongly from travelling to Lahore for the Pakistan Super League final.
But things have improved since, as ICC's chief executive officer David Richardson noted at a press conference on Wednesday. The security arrangements were overseen by international security consultants. The ICC bore the cost of the security advisors and have agreed terms to assist the PCB for every series they host in Pakistan from hereon in.
But Cameron also explained that the matter may not necessarily be in his hands, with the board not having the final say over whether its players tour a particular nation. "We've had the security team here for the final of the PSL and they've seen these matches as well," he said, when asked if FICA could be convinced. "Here, Pakistan's board makes decisions [regarding where to tour]. My board's a little bit different, with the WIPA [West Indies Players Association] also having a big say. We have to respect their decision.
"We want to ensure that when the players come over, everyone actually wants to come and enjoy the experience, and we don't want to be seen to be forcing anyone. We've had Darren Sammy here and Samuel Badree and they've loved it. Sammy's on his second trip and I think that will also convince the players that it is safe to come.
Cameron also gave the security arrangements in Pakistan a personal vote of confidence. "From what I believe I'm very convinced. The hospitality has been great, and the security has been first-class, and from where I stand right now, everything looks good."