West Indies cricket team lands in Karachi
West Indies have reached Karachi for their three-match T20I and ODI series against Pakistan. The first match will be played at the National Stadium on Monday, 13 December.#PAKvWI pic.twitter.com/gjFoDpRBBN— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) December 9, 2021
The Windies will play three Twenty20 and three one-day internationals -- all in the port city of Karachi -- starting Monday, their first visit since 2018.
A Pakistan official said a 26-member party had flown to Karachi early Thursday before being escorted by heavy security to the team hotel.
The series comes three months after New Zealand quit their first tour to the country in 18 years shortly before the opening match was due to start following a security alert.
That was followed by England's decision to withdraw visits by their men's and women's teams scheduled for October.
Pakistan officials were furious with the cancellations, arguing security measures were lock-tight.
The cricket-mad nation endured a long spell without a visit from an international team following a terror attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009.
Pakistan were forced to play their home international matches abroad -- mostly in the United Arab Emirates -- until 2015, when normal service tentatively resumed.
This West Indian squad is somewhat understrength, with regulars Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons all opting out for personal reasons.
Former skipper Jason Holder is being rested, while Fabian Allen and Obed McCoy are out because of injuries.
Last week captain Kieron Pollard also withdrew through a hamstring injury, leaving the Twenty20 leadership to Nicholas Pooran and ODIs to Shai Hope.
Four players -- Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes and Odean Smith -- will join the team later Thursday.
The three T20Is are on December 13, 14 and 16, while the ODIs will be on December 18, 20 and 22.
T20I squad: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Rovman Powell
ODI squad: Shai Hope (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr, Devon Thomas
Pakistan Cricket Board in a tweet said, “Enjoy your stay, we look forward to an exciting series next week.”
Pakistan won T20s and Test series against Bangladesh and the green shirts are coming back to home.
The squad will reach Karachi and Lahore while skipper Babar Azam will join the team’s boil-bubble on Dec 10.
'West Indies plans to fulfil its commitment'
Back in September, Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave said that the cricket body is planning to fulfil its tour commitments with all countries, including Pakistan.
"We intend to fulfil the responsibilities of tours," he had reiterated. However, the CEO had added that the board will follow standard procedures.
13 Dec – 1st T20I, Karachi
14 Dec – 2nd T20I, Karachi
16 Dec – 3rd T20I, Karachi
18 Dec – 1st ODI, Karachi
20 Dec – 2nd ODI, Karachi
22 Dec – 3rd ODI, Karachi
23 Dec - Departure
Reporter Mehmood Riaz
With inputs from AFP