President of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) Wavell Hinds seems uncertain that the West Indies tour of Pakistan will take place, despite the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirming a three-match T20 series against West Indies for Lahore in late November.
For six years no international cricket was played in Pakistan following an armed attack by militants on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 in Lahore, Pakistan. Six members of the Sri Lankan team, two officials and a reserve umpire were injured in the attack which also saw six police officers and two civilians killed.
In 2015, Zimbabwe toured Pakistan for a T20 and an ODI series – the first time a Test playing nation toured Pakistan since the 2009 incident.
In a press release last week, PCB chairman Najam Sethi announced the Windies tour for a three-match T20 series set for Lahore in November.
“The agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board has been finalised and done and they have confirmed they will come to Lahore in November to play three T20 Internationals,” Sethi said.
In a brief interview with Newsday yesterday, Hinds seemed unsure if a series between Pakistan and West Indies will take place. Asked to comment on the security issues leading up to the Pakistan series, Hinds said: “Pakistan series against who?”
When Newsday told Hinds he was being asked about the Pakistan-West Indies series at the end of November, Hinds replied, “I don’t know if there is a series so I can’t give a speech on that.”
Some of the West Indies players may be nervous to travel to Pakistan following a security concern involving Trinidad and Tobago cricketer Rayad Emrit in Afghanistan last week, another country ravaged by acts of terrorism.
Emrit escaped injury while playing for Boost Defenders in the Shpageeza Cricket League in Afghanistan on Wednesday, when a suicide bomber killed at least three people and injured a dozen just outside the Kabul International Cricket Ground in which he was playing.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron, who was in Pakistan on Friday, has said the West Indies players have the power to decide if the tour of Pakistan will take place.
Cameron was speaking at the conclusion of the Independence Series involving Pakistan and a World XI which concluded in Lahore, last week. West Indians Darren Sammy and Samuel Badree lined up for the World XI – an initiative to show the International Cricket Council (ICC) that Pakistan is safe and ready to host international cricket once again.
Cameron made it clear that the tour will depend on the security reports after the conclusion of Independence Cup, mentioning that CWI has no intention of forcing any player who doesn’t wish to undertake the tour.
The CWI said WIPA has a major role in deciding if the Pakistan tour will take place. “Here, Pakistan’s board makes decisions (regarding where to tour). My board’s a little bit different, with the West Indies Players Association also having a big say — and we have to respect their decision.”