WI tour: PCB remains hopeful
GREEN LIGHT KARACHI, Pakistan (CMC): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have not given up hope of West Indies touring here next March, and will be meeting with security company Eastern Star International to contest a security report it issued and which formed the basis of the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) recent recommendation to members against touring the volatile Asian nation. A proposed two-match Twenty20 Internationals series in Lahore against the Caribbean seemed to be off the cards after FICA issued a damning advisory indicating an “elevated security risk” for those choosing to tour Pakistan. That advisory was based on an assessment by Eastern Star International, and was apparently behind the decision by West Indies players union, WIPA, not giving their blessing to the tour. However, the PCB said it intended to put forward “the factual position and the improvement in the security situation” in Pakistan during the meeting with the security company. “After the FICA advisory came out, we investigated on what basis they had given such an advice and we found out their security advisers were Eastern Star Security,” said Najam Sethi, the head of PCB’s executive committee. He added: “I will be meeting their officials to let them know about the factual position and the improvement in the security situation in Pakistan, which is why we are also trying to bring back international cricket to the country.” The PCB wanted two T20Is against the Windies here in March in return for giving the green light to an invitation from the West Indies Cricket Board to a similar two-match series in Florida, United States, later that month. Since then, the WICB have announced a full series against Pakistan in the Caribbean of three Tests, three One-Day Internationals, and two T20Is from March 31 to May 10. But Sethi said they were still in talks with the WICB to have the matches staged in Lahore. No major cricketing nation has toured Pakistan since 2009 when a bus carrying the Sri Lankan Test side was attacked by militants. Pakistan have since played their ‘home’ series in the United Arab Emirates.