What’s the story?
Pakistan are set to travel to West Indies for a tour comprising of 2 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 3 Tests from March to May. Though the Queen’s Park Oval will host both T20Is and Providence Stadium all three ODIs, the Test series is formulated across different venues.
The scheduling has been released amidst the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) refusal to Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) offer for another proposed series of 2 T20Is in Lahore during March.
In case you didn‘t know...
Pakistan have never won a Test series against West Indies in West Indies. Their best performance till date has come in three drawn series (each 1-1). During their previous trip to the Caribbean, they lost the opening Test by 40 runs in Guyana (where Darren Sammy picked up 5/29 in the second innings) before levelling the series with a 196-run victory in St Kitts.
The heart of the matter
The 3-match ODI series presents a massive opportunity to both teams to improve their respective chances of securing direct qualification to the 2019 World Cup. Currently, Pakistan are at 8th in the rankings (only the top seven teams as per the cut-off date of 30 September 2017 plus hosts England qualify automatically) with West Indies hot on their heels.
According to ICC’s Future Tours Program (FTP), a 4-Test series was initially on offer. However, after deliberations between the two boards, it has been cut down to three. There will be a 3-day warm-up game (opponent would be named later) for Pakistan ahead of the first Test at the Sabina Park.
|1st T20I||March 31||Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain|
|2nd T20I||April 2||Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain|
|1st ODI||April 7||Providence Stadium, Guyana|
|2nd ODI||April 9||Providence Stadium, Guyana|
|3rd ODI||April 11||Providence Stadium, Guyana|
|Tour game||April 15-17||Trelawny Stadium, Jamaica|
|1st Test||April 22-26||Sabina Park, Kingston|
|2nd Test||April 30-May 4||Kensington Oval, Barbados|
|3rd Test||May 10-14||Windsor Park, Dominica|
As the opening ODI in Australia came to a close, Pakistan have four more games to deal with in what is shaping up to be a disastrous tour. Their players will then move on to the 2017 edition of the Pakistan Super League which is slated to be held from February 9 to March 7.
On the other hand, West Indies’ last assignment was in November when they failed to make the final of a tri-series also involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Before Pakistan arrive onto their shores, they will play three ODIs at home against England in March.
Considering Pakistan’s recent slump and historical record in the Caribbean, the Test series should be a compelling affair. As far as the white-ball formats are concerned, West Indies’ decent record at home (they won two ODIs against South Africa and one ODI against Australia in a tri-series last year) could set the stage for some fascinating contests.