The Pakistan Cricket Board has shifted next month’s ODI series against the West Indies from Rawalpindi to Multan in the wake of expected protest rallies planned by opposition politicians.
Former prime minister Imran Khan is planning protest rallies in the federal capital Islamabad, which is adjacent to Rawalpindi, in the coming days.
Khan called off a planned, opened-ended rally and sit-in last week in Islamabad after personally leading thousands of his supporters during a march on Islamabad.
The PCB had kept Multan as a back-up option and said Monday the three-match ODI series, which is part of the Cricket World Cup Super League, will now be played as per schedule on June 8, 10 and 12.
Since the PCB is relaying the pitches at the National Stadium in Karachi and Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Multan is the only other venue available to host international matches.
It will be the first time that Pakistan hosts international games during the summer and the PCB has planned to start the games at 4 p.m. local time. West Indies will arrive in Islamabad on June 6 and will travel to Multan on a charter flight the same day.
The ODI series was postponed last year after West Indies played the three Twenty20s but was forced to go back home due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp. However, there will be no bio-secure bubble for the ODI series.