PCB hoping to end isolation by luring Windies

Lahore, April 14 (IANS) In an attempt to end the country’s seven-year hiatus as an international venue, Pakistan authorities are hoping to convince the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to play limited-overs fixtures here later this year.

No major Test-playing nation has toured Pakistan since 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan squad on their way to the playing ground in Lahore, killing seven policemen and injuring as many players, reports CMC on Wednesday.

The West Indies are currently set to play Pakistan in two Tests, five One Day Internationals (ODIs), and two Twenty20 Internationals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to ask for a couple of these games to be shifted to Pakistan.

If the West Indies agree to play, the PCB plans to pay increased fees to the visitors, according to reports.

The PCB also plan to engage the help of legendary former West Indies captain Viv Richards and former master batsman Brian Lara in helping to secure the fixtures.

One of the countries involved in the war on terror, Pakistan has become increasingly volatile in recent years, with the government engaged in fighting Islamic militants.

The volatility forced cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), to pull the 2009 Champions Trophy and also led to India and Australia cancelling tours here.

Only last month, 72 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a public park in Lahore. The incident scuppered a proposed tour by Afghanistan.