Johnny Grave, Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief executive, says the West Indies’ upcoming tour of Pakistan, for a three-match Twenty20 International series, will help aid the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in their efforts to ensure regular international cricket at home.
Earlier this month, Najam Sethi, the PCB chairman, made the details of the tour official and while the fact that the tour itself would take place wasn’t too surprising – international cricket has started to return to Pakistan in recent times – what was noteworthy was the change in venue.
Instead of Lahore, which had been the venue for all international cricket in Pakistan over the last few years, the National Stadium in Karachi will host the three matches.
On April 1, when Pakistan and West Indies step out on to the field, it will be the first international match played in Karachi since 2009.
It is another step towards something resembling normalcy for fans of the sport in Pakistan. They have been largely starved of live top-level cricket since the attack on the touring Sri Lankans’ bus in 2009 led to international cricket ceasing to be played in the country.
“All players understand the impact that not playing at home has had on cricket in Pakistan,” says Grave. “Several of our players took part in the World XI and Pakistan Super League matches in Pakistan, and they are supportive.”