The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has brushed aside media reports suggesting that Pakistan’s tour of the Caribbean this year is in jeopardy.
A WICB statement released Monday says the board remains optimistic that the tour will take place in July as planned and says negotiations are still being held to finalize plans.
A report in CRICINO said the tour is unlikely to take place after the WICB and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) failed to find a new window.
“In light of recent media reports emanating from the Asian subcontinent, the West Indies Cricket Board wishes to advise the media and the public that negotiations with the Pakistan Cricket Board are ongoing with regard to finalising the schedule for the West Indies vs Pakistan series to be held in the Caribbean in July,” the statement said.
“The WICB remains optimistic that the tour will proceed once arrangements are concluded, and further, the WICB look forward to the much anticipated visit of the Pakistan cricket team as indeed all cricket-loving fans of the Caribbean do”.
According to the FTP (Future Tours Programme), West Indies was scheduled to host Pakistan from the last week in June to the last week in July, but a tri-series involving India, Sri Lanka and West Indies have since been planned.
Pakistan was originally scheduled to play two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s.
To avoid a clash, the WICB is reported to have asked the PCB to reschedule its tour to August but this change would have interfered with Pakistan’s own plan to host India and to play out the Zimbabwe series that was postponed last year.
Also, the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is scheduled to take place from July 29 to August 26.
“The WICB wishes to assure the players, the fans and the wider public that it views in the highest regard its ICC Future Tours Programme commitments (which includes the Pakistan tour of the Caribbean) and will fulfil all such commitments to the mutual convenience of the players and teams involved and for the benefit and enjoyment of fans, “ the statement said.
“Once all arrangements are finalized they will be announced to the media and public in the usual manner and at the earliest opportunity”.