ISLAMABAD, Jan 24 (APP):In a major step towards the revival of international cricket in the country, the Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday confirmed that the Windies women’s cricket team would play three Twenty20 Internationals in Karachi in the build-up to the ICC Women’s Championship fourth round fixture.
The three T20Is will be played on January 31 and February 1 and at the Southend Club, following which the two sides will go head to head in three ODIs in Dubai on February 7, 9 and 11. The first ODI will be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, while the second and third ODIs will be played at the ICC Academy.
As part of their series preparation, the 2016 ICC Women’s World T20 champions will arrive in Dubai on 26 January, before traveling to Karachi on 30 January.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan women’s cricket team has already begun preparations for the series by attending a training camp presently in progress in Karachi.
The news of the West Indies women’s cricket team’s tour to Karachi comes at the back of the commitment from around world’s 35 leading men’s cricketers, including AB de Villiers, to participate in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 matches in Lahore and Karachi.
This will be the West Indies women’s first tour to Karachi in 15 years. In March/April 2004, the West Indies played a drawn Test in Pakistan and won a seven-ODI series 5-2.
“The visit of the West Indies women’s team to Karachi is great news not only for Pakistan cricket but for women’s cricket in general. We are thankful to Cricket West Indies and their players for trusting the PCB and agreeing to play three T20Is in Karachi,” PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad said in a statement.
“The decision of Cricket West Indies endorses our position that Pakistan is as safe and secure as any other country. On behalf of the PCB, I would like to say that we are confident that this tour will go a long way in the complete revival of international cricket in Pakistan.
“The PCB and the CWI have a very long history of collaboration and mutual respect, and this decision further illustrates strong relationship between the two boards. With the West Indies women’s cricket team’s agreement to partake in the three T20Is, the CWI has reiterated their support for a key member of the cricket fraternity in a time when we are working extremely hard to get international cricket back into our backyard,” he said.
“The West Indies women’s cricket team is one of the most formidable and admired sides in the world. By playing in Karachi, they will also contribute to the growth and popularity of women’s cricket in this part of the world. I am sure this series will inspire a number of young women cricketers to take up this great sport,” Subhan Ahmad added.
Commenting on the tour, Cricket West Indies Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Grave, in a statement said: “Following the successful hosting of the Windies’ men’s team in Pakistan in April 2018, we have confirmed to the PCB that our Windies women’s squad will now also play a three-match T20I series in Karachi.
“This tour is a further major step for our friends at the Pakistan Cricket Board to bring their cricket back home, and we are pleased that our players and support staff have recognized this and supported this venture.”
“The security plan arranged by the PCB is of exactly the same level that the Windies men’s team had last year and independent security advisors, Eastern Star International (ESI), have confirmed to both the CWI and WIPA that they are satisfied that the risk is manageable and can be mitigated to an acceptable level.
“We have made it very clear to the players and support staff that should any of them have any personal reservations about this tour, than we fully understand and accept their position,” he added.
Ayesha Ashhar, PCB General Manager – Women’s Wing, said: “We are really excited and pleased that the West Indies team is coming to Pakistan it is a great move for the revival of international cricket in the country.
“We will make sure that the series is promoted in the best possible way and we look forward to some competitive cricket, we want to thank the PCB for their help and guidance, we hope to see a good turnout for the series in Karachi.”
Apart from winning the ICC Women’s World T20 2016 in Kolkata, the West Indies women’s cricket team also reached the semi-finals of the same event in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018.
The West Indies are currently ranked fourth in the ICC T20I rankings, while Pakistan are ranked seventh. In the ODI table, the West Indies are sixth and Pakistan seventh.
After three rounds of the ICC Women’s Championship, the West Indies are sitting in fourth position on nine points with four wins and as many defeats, while Pakistan are sixth on eight points with four wins and five loses.
January 31 – 1st T20I, Southend Club, Karachi. Start time 11h00 Pakistan time
February 1 – 2nd T20I, Southend Club, Karachi. Start time 11h00 Pakistan time
February 3 – 3rd T20I, Southend Club, Karachi. Star time 11h00 Pakistan time
February 7 – 1st ODI (ICC Women’s Championship), DIS. Start time 09h30 Dubai time
February 9– 2nd ODI, (ICC Women’s Championship), ICC Academy. Start time 09h30 Dubai time
February 11 – 3rd ODI (ICC Women’s Championship), ICC Academy. Start time 09h30 Dubai time