Confirmation from PCB chairman Najam Sethi another big step toward more regular international cricket in the country
Pakistan to host Twenty20 series against West Indies in Karachi
Pakistan's cricket chief has confirmed three Twenty20 internationals with the West Indies in Karachi early next month, taking a giant step towards reviving international series amid improved security in the country.
Pakistan had been a no-go zone for international teams since a 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus which killed eight people and left seven visiting players injured.
Since then, Pakistan hosted two Twenty20 and three one-day internationals against Zimbabwe in 2015 but last year's final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), three T20 internationals against a World XI and a T20 international match against Sri Lanka helped convince the West Indies.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi said the West Indies have confirmed the series.
"It's a good news that West Indies have confirmed three Twenty20 internationals to be played in Karachi on April 1, 2 and 4," Sethi told media in Dubai on the sidelines of the ongoing third edition of the PSL.
West Indies are the reigning World Twenty20 champions after winning the title in India in 2016.
Earlier, Lahore was announced as the venue of the West Indies matches but the PCB was encouraged to host the matches outside Lahore after Karachi was declared safe by international security experts last month.
Karachi will also host the PSL final on March 25, while Lahore will host two play-off games on March 20 and 21.
"That is how we intend to put Karachi back on cricket map once again. PSL final and now three more games for Karachi as per routine. Karachi people should welcome this," said Sethi of Karachi, where the last international was a Test match against Sri Lanka in February 2009.
Sethi also announced he was in talks with West Indies Cricket for a Twenty20 tri-series in United States.
"While West Indies tour to Pakistan is a one-off series, we are also in consultation with the WIC on a tri-series, also involving Bangladesh in first year, for a period of five years," said Sethi.