Con­vinc­ing play­ers to tour Pak­istan will be chal­leng­ing says CWI boss

Stabroek News Sunday - - SUNDAY SPORT -

LA­HORE, Pak­istan, CMC — Cricket West Indies pres­i­dent Dave Cameron said West Indies play­ers will get to de­cide whether they tour Pak­istan for a se­ries of three Twenty20 In­ter­na­tion­als in Novem­ber.

Cameron was speak­ing at the con­clu­sion of the In­de­pen­dence Se­ries be­tween the Pak­ista­nis and a World XI over the last week in La­hore.

The se­ries has raised ex­pec­ta­tions in the coun­try that Pak­istan can re­sume the stag­ing of in­ter­na­tional matches fol­low­ing an in­ter­na­tional sus­pen­sion, due to an armed at­tack by mil­i­tants on the Sri Lankan team bus eight years in this city.

The Pak­ista­nis hosted Zim­babwe for a his­toric lim­ited-overs se­ries two years ago, but other in­ter­na­tion­als have been re­luc­tant to play bi­lat­eral se­ries in the coun­try, forc­ing Pak­istan to play their home games in the United Arab Emi­rates in the past few years.

“We want to en­sure that when the play­ers come over, ev­ery­one ac­tu­ally wants to come and en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence, and we don’t want to be seen to be forc­ing any­one,” said Cameron.

“We’ve had Dar­ren Sammy and Sa­muel Badree here, and they’ve loved it. Sammy’s on his sec­ond trip and I think that will also con­vince the play­ers that it is safe to come.”

Cameron how­ever, 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.

“We’ve had the se­cu­rity team here for the fi­nal of the Pak­istan Su­per League and they’ve seen th­ese matches as well,” he said

“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.”

Cameron said he had en­joyed his two-day stay in Pak­istan and was con­vinced that things have im­proved with the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil, the sport’s World govern­ing body, over­see­ing se­cu­rity ar­range­ments and will­ing to bear the cost of se­cu­rity ad­vi­sors for ev­ery se­ries the PCB hosts from now.

“We’ve been talk­ing about this for some time and have our own chal­lenges back in the West Indies, but from what I have seen, I am very con­vinced,” said Cameron.

“Hospi­tal­ity has been great and se­cu­rity has been first-class. My chal­lenge is to con­vince the play­ers that it’s safe enough. It’s our duty to help as well. I felt that if I came over here to show that it’s safe enough that would go some way in con­vinc­ing the play­ers. In­shal­lah [God-will­ing] in Novem­ber, we’ll be here.”

Cricket West Indies preis­dent Dave Cameron says it will be chal­leng­ing to con­vince play­ers to tour Pak­istan.

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