Karachi Becomes Latest Destination for International Cricket’s Return to Pakistan

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has continued its efforts to return top-level cricket to the country by announcing that Karachi will host a Twenty20 series against the West Indies, along with the final of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 competition.

The announcement marks the return of international cricket to Karachi for the first time since the attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus by gunmen in Lahore in March 2009. This has forced Pakistan to play the majority of its ‘home’ series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while Lahore has, to date, been the only destination for the select number of international and PSL games played in Pakistan.

PCB chairman Najam Sethi said the three-match T20 series against the West Indies will be held in Karachi at the National Stadium on April 1, 2 and 4. He said: “This is a historic development and we are very excited about this opportunity of providing Karachi fans some top-class cricket which besides the HBL PSL final now also includes the West Indies series.”

The West Indies will become the latest international team to commit to playing in Pakistan following Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. Sethi added that the series is solely designed to put Karachi “back on the cricket map” again, adding that broader talks are being held over staging a series with the West Indies in the United States.

Sethi said, according to the ESPNcricinfo website: “This will be a one-off series, since, as I told you before, it will be a loss-making enterprise. The idea wasn’t to make money; it was to bring cricket back, so this is a step in that direction.

“We have a separate agreement with the West Indies in which we are exploring a tri-lateral series including Pakistan, West Indies and one other country, which will be played in the USA over next five years. The details about the venues, dates and financial model will be discussed later but in principle it has decided that three countries will play in the USA.”

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