WI Women to clash with Pakistan in Karachi in build-up to qualifiers
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
West Indies Women will tour Pakistan next month for three One-Day Internationals, Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirmed early yesterday.
The series, which runs from November 8-14 and will be played in Karachi, is part of the Caribbean side's preparations for the crucial Cricket World Cup qualifiers set for November-December in Zimbabwe.
CWI said it was undertaking a final review of the "detailed medical and security plans" put forward by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
"This reciprocal tour to Pakistan is an important part of our preparation plans ahead of the World Cup qualifying tournament that is scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe in mid-November," said CWI chief executive Johnny Grave.
"This tour to Pakistan will give the team the chance to play in different conditions compared to the Caribbean and have more high level competitive cricket ahead of aiming to secure one of the three qualifying spots available for the Women's Cricket World Cup next year."
Last month, both England and New Zealand cancelled plans for the respective men's teams to tour Pakistan.
While the England and Wales Cricket Board cited "increasing concerns about travelling to the region", New Zealand Cricket alluded to a "specific and credible threat".
However, Grave said CWI were satisfied with the security assessment carried out, which indicated that the associated risk was " manageable and can be mitigated to an acceptable level of safety".
"The security plan arranged by the PCB is the same high level that the West Indies Men's and Women's teams received when they last toured Pakistan in 2018 and 2019, respectively," said the Englishman.
"Independent security advisors, Eastern Star International (ESI), have confirmed to both CWI and West Indies Players' Association that they are satisfied that the risk is manageable and can be mitigated to an acceptable level of safety.
"We will now take a final recommendation to our board of directors before the selection panel confirms the squad."
West Indies Women last faced Pakistan Women in an away series in 2019, when a three-match ODI tour was hosted in Dubai and the three-match T20 series was staged in Karachi.
Captain Stafanie Taylor opted out of the Karachi leg over security reservations.
Pakistan, meanwhile, toured the Caribbean last July, losing 3-2 in a five-match series staged in Antigua.
The upcoming series marks the third one this year for the women's side, with South Africa also touring the region last month for ODIs and T20 Internationals.
West Indies Women, currently in Antigua for a preparation camp, will travel directly to Zimbabwe for the November 21 to December 5 qualifiers, following the Pakistan series.