The PCB Chairman Najam Sethi on Saturday complained of negative press about the depleted West Indies squad coming to Karachi for a Twenty20 series, starting Sunday. Due to security concerns, the visitors will not address any pre-match conference and miss the trophy unveiling on Saturday. “Look these are baby steps and we have to be patient. But I feel disappointed and sorry for those running down the West Indies team,” Sethi said.
The series will be the first international bilateral one in Karachi since Sri Lanka played a test match at the national stadium in late February 2009.
“We have had the Pakistan Super League final successfully just last week and now we have three back to back T20 games. We have other teams willing to come but one has to understand that the time for all players having no issues over touring Pakistan will also eventually come,” Sethi said.
The weak-looking West Indian side sans T20 stars such as Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, regular captain Craig Braithwaite, Jason Holder and others have opted out of the tour due to security concerns. Critics say that for the West Indies to send a weak squad even after independent security experts lauded the security arrangements for the PSL final is unfair and a letdown for Pakistan cricket.
Sethi said the West Indies cricket board had cooperated with the PCB in every way and sent their best available players. He said the good thing was that players like Andre Fletcher, Rayad Emrit, Samuel Badree, Chadwick Walton, and Marlon Samuels had come to Pakistan in recent times and their coming again showed their confidence in the security provided to them.
“We shouldn’t forget that West Indies is the reigning World T20 Champions right now,” he said. The touring side which plays matches on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday include four uncapped players. The good news for Pakistan cricket is that the ICC has sent its match referee, David Boon, and umpire for the series.
West Indies squad: Jason Muhammad (Capt), Samuel Badree, Rayad Emrit, Andre Fletcher, Andre McCarthy, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Odean Smith, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.