Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) spoke with officials from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the West Indies tour of Pakistan in December.
After the New Zealand withdrawal from Pakistan and England also backing down from its planned tour, PCB has been put in a precarious situation as the future of cricket in the country is in the hanging. However, one of Pakistan’s closest cricketing allies has shown intentions to keep local cricket alive.
One of the World’s most iconic players and West Indies legend, Chris Gayle, announced that he would be visiting Pakistan right after New Zealand withdrew, citing ‘security reasons.’ He even invited others to join him to prove that the country’s safety situation.
West Indies hosted Pakistan in July and August for two Tests and four Twenty20 Internationals, and they are expected to play three One Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20s on the reciprocal visit at the end of this year.
I’m going to Pakistan tomorrow, who coming with me? 😉🙌🏿
— Chris Gayle (@henrygayle) September 18, 2021
Ever since the attack on the Sri Lankan team 12 years ago, international teams had shunned Pakistan, forcing it to play its ‘home’ games in the UAE. West Indies was one of the first teams to play in Pakistan after a tour by Zimbabwe.
With the newly appointed Chairman of the PCB, Ramiz Raja, going on the offensive and saying that Pakistan would not shift its home games to UAE, he is in desperate need of backing his words and proving the country is entirely safe for cricket.
Even the Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid joined in support, saying the New Zealand team was proved with more security than the country’s own military force, so any doubts were utterly farcical.
With the official narrative that the country is being purposefully maligned by ‘sinister force,’ it is time for cricket in Pakistan to finally stand on its own two feet and not give in to external pressures as it has previously done.