KARACHI: The Windies Women will play three Twenty20 Internationals in Pakistan, starting from 31 January, in a move that Johnny Grave, the Cricket West Indies chief executive, said was a “major step” in helping the Pakistan Cricket Board “bring cricket back home”.
After the three T20Is, the teams will travel to the United Arab Emirates for a three-match ICC Women’s Championship one-day international series, reported ICC.
Efforts to have international sides playing in Pakistan have been on for a long time, but security concerns following the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore during the 2009 tour have kept teams away.
However, since 2015, when Zimbabwe travelled to Lahore for a limited-overs series, top-flight teams have started travelling to Pakistan, with the International Cricket Council also playing a big role in persuading a number of prominent cricketers to travel to Lahore as part of a World XI side for three T20Is last year.
Last year, Pakistan had hosted the Windies men’s team in a similar three-match T20I series in Karachi, and the smooth proceedings in that series played a part in convincing the CWI to sanction the women’s tour, said Grave.
“This tour is a further major step for our friends at the PCB to bring their cricket back home,” said Grave. “We are pleased that our players and support staff have recognised this and agreed to play the T20Is in Pakistan.”
However, captain Stafanie Taylor has opted out of the tour – Grave said “should any (player) have any personal reservations about this tour, we fully understand and accept their position” – and Merissa Aguilleira will take over as captain for the T20Is. Taylor will resume as captain when she joins the side in Dubai in time for the ICC Women’s Championship ODIs, starting from 7 February.
The Windies will also be without Hayley Matthews, who suffered a medial knee ligament damage to her right knee at the Women’s Big Bash League in December. She will need “a further 3-4 weeks of therapy” before returning to action.
Squad: Stafanie Taylor (capt, ODIs only), Merissa Aguilleira (T20I capt), Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Natasha McClean, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams.