Windies turn down Pakistan T20 tour

Nearly all the country’s home series have been played in the neutral grounds of the UAE since a 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, but Pakistan had hoped the T20 leg of West Indies’ tour could be played in Lahore.

The West Indies’ refusal came after a suicide bomber killed 73 people in a park in Lahore on Easter Sunday last month.   -  K. R. Deepak

Recently crowned World Twenty20 champion the West Indies has turned down a request from Pakistan to play matches in the militancy-wracked South Asian country due to security fears, a senior official said on Monday.

Pakistan is due to host the West Indies in two Tests, five one-day and two Twenty20 internationals in September and October this year.

Nearly all the country’s home series have been played in the neutral grounds of the UAE since a 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, but Pakistan had hoped the T20 leg of West Indies’ tour could be played in Lahore.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said: “We wanted the Twenty20s to be played in Pakistan and made an effort but the West Indies Cricket Board have refused saying they have security fears, so the full series will be played in (the) United Arab Emirates.”

The West Indies’ refusal came after a suicide bomber killed 73 people in a park in Lahore on Easter Sunday last month.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, the Taliban faction that carried out the bombing, said Christians were the target of the attack.

Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe for two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals in Lahore last year hoping the tour would pave the way for more international teams to visit — a hope that has yet to be realised.