Pakistan's series in England might have more Tests if West Indies fails to travel, says report

Cloud of uncertainty hovers around West Indies and Pakistan's Test assignments in England.

Pakistan is due to travel to England for three Test matches | GettyPakistan might have a prolonged Test series in England if the summer's other Test touring party, West Indies, opts out because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

England is due to host both Pakistan and West Indies in two series of three Tests each. 

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But the Test championship fixtures to be played by the Calypso Kings have already been postponed amid the deadly outbreak, which has forced suspension of all cricket in England and Wales till at least July 1. 

The Pakistan series will be the major part of discussions between the PCB and ECB on May 18 via video conferencing, as they continue to keep track of the developments around the health crisis. 

"At present, we have to play three Tests and three T20 internationals but the number of Tests could be increased and the tour could start a bit early in July," a PCB source was quoted as saying by PTI

Issues like quarantine period for Pakistani players when they arrive in England in July and limiting the venues for the matches to be played in empty stadiums will be the other major bone of contention. 

Of course, all of that would only be possible if travelling restrictions are removed and medical experts deem cricket's resumption a safe bet. 

PCB CEO Wasim Khan said whatever discussed in the meeting will also be communicated to the players and the team management before arriving at any decision. 

"Things will be clear after the meeting but whatever decision we take we will consult our captains and head coaches before giving any confirmation," Khan said.

It is hoped that the government in UK will be a position to ease up the lockdown on time for the Pakistan series to be played as scheduled. 

However, one former Pakistan captain, at the condition of anonymity, warned the PCB against any hastened decision-making. 

"If the West Indies have decided to postpone their series in June because of safety reasons and because of the situation then the PCB should also be very careful before taking up any offer from the ECB," said the ex-skipper.

Cricket West Indies (CWI), on its part, said its players have to be convinced of their safety for the board to commit to the assignment in England at a later date. 

"We will continue our discussions with the ECB and other international boards on trying to find new dates," said CWI in a recent press release. "We will only travel to England to play the series if our players can be assured that it is safe to do so."

(Inputs from PTI)


By Kashish Chadha - 11 May, 2020

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