West Indies to host Pakistan in March-May 2017

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Pakistan were all smiles on their last visit to the West Indies in 2013, when they won the ODIs 3-1 © WICB Media

West Indies will host Pakistan for a seven-week tour beginning at the end of March, comprising two T20Is, three ODIs and three Tests spread across five venues in the Caribbean. It is the first Pakistan tour of the West Indies since 2013 – when Pakistan won a five-match ODI series 3-1 and swept a pair of T20Is – and their first Test series in the Caribbean since a drawn two-match series in 2011.

However, there was no announcement regarding any agreement for West Indies to travel to Pakistan to play a pair of T20Is in mid-March, despite recent speculation that discussions were being held between the WICB and PCB regarding a possible visit to Lahore. Such an agreement would need approval from the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) as well as a security clearance, something that may be problematic after a report issued by FICA regarding player safety and security strongly discouraged players from going to Lahore for the Pakistan Super League final, confirmed for March 5.

The Pakistan tour begins in Trinidad & Tobago, where the pair of T20Is will be played at Queen’s Park Oval from March 31. According to multiple sources, the WICB had explored the possibility of staging the T20Is at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, the same Florida venue where West Indies played a pair of T20Is against India in August. Central Broward Regional Park officials confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that they had been contacted by the WICB regarding availability for dates toward the end of March but in the end the WICB opted to keep all matches for Pakistan’s tour at Caribbean venues.

Guyana will be the host country for all three ODIs beginning on April 7. The ODIs will be crucial heading into the September 2017 cutoff date for 2019 ICC World Cup qualification. Pakistan are currently ranked eighth on the ICC ODI rankings table, the last automatic-qualification spot, with 89 points while West Indies are three points behind them in ninth position with 86 points.

If West Indies fail to get into the top eight spots by September, they must participate in the 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier. That tournament is currently scheduled to be held in Bangladesh, although that may change if Bangladesh – currently ranked seventh with 91 points – gains an automatic qualification.

Pakistan will have a three-day warm-up match at Trelawny Stadium in Jamaica starting on April 15 before the first of three Tests begins at Sabina Park on April 22. There is a three-day gap before the second Test begins at Kensington Oval in Barbados on April 30, while the final Test is scheduled to be played at Windsor Park in Dominica starting on May 10.

Pakistan defeated West Indies in all three formats last year on West Indies’ tour of the UAE. West Indies were in turmoil from the start of the tour after coach Phil Simmons was sacked on the eve of the team’s departure to Dubai. Pakistan went on to sweep both the T20I and ODI series by identical 3-0 scorelines before taking the Test series 2-1. It was Kraigg Brathwaite’s 142 not out followed by a 60 not out that helped West Indies to a five-wicket win in the final Test in Sharjah.

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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.




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