West Indies rejects Pakistan offer of a Test series

By Omar Khalid, IANS,

Karachi : Pakistan’s Test drought will continue after it was revealed Tuesday that the West Indies have given the thumbs down to a proposed two-match Test series between the two nations in Abu Dhabi next month.

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Saleem Altaf, Pakistan Cricket Board’s director general, told IANS that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has regretted committing its team for the series that was planned for the second half of November after the two teams meet in a One-Day International series in Abu Dhabi from Nov 12-16.

“We have received an email from the WICB, telling us that the West Indies will not be able to play in the proposed Test series,” said Altaf, a former Pakistan Test cricketer.

“It is unfortunate because our team is starved of Test cricket but there is little we can do about it,” he said.

Pakistan was left without a single Test in 2008 after Australia refused to tour the country earlier this year because of security fears. The Aussies were supposed to play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 International here according to the ICC Future Tour Programme.

In a bid to line up a Test outside the FTP, the PCB invited the West Indies to play a Test series here. But the WICB refused to come to Pakistan, citing security reasons. The PCB later offered to host the Tests in Abu Dhabi.

Initially, the WICB agreed to play the series but demanded $1 million for the two matches. Unable to raise any worthwhile revenues from the offshore Tests, the PCB offered the WICB $400,000 but the offer was turned down. The WICB informed the PCB that it had to reject the Test series proposal as it didn’t have enough time to negotiate with the West Indies Players Association regarding the offer.

Altaf said that the WICB officials have promised to discuss the possibility of a bilateral Test series against Pakistan at the ICC Chief Executives meeting to be held in December.