The West Indies and Pakistan cricket boards have revealed plans to play three Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals in the Caribbean between March and May this year.
The series, announced on Thursday (January 12), has been scheduled to start in Trinidad on March 31 and end in Dominica on May 14.
The ODIs will be of partciular interest as September 30 is the cut-off for direct qualification to the 2019 50-over World Cup in England, where only the top-eight teams according to the International Cricket Council rankings are guaranteed a place. A qualifying event in 2018 featuring the ten next-best teams will then be used to spot the remaining conpetitors in the ten-team tournament.
Pakistan and West Indies are both in danger of failing to make the cut, currently standing at an No. 8 and No. 9 respectively, behind Bangladesh at No. 7. With West Indies having failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy, they would be gung-ho about making the most of home conditions to strengthen their case.
To maintain their pre-series ranking points, Pakistan require at least one win in the upcoming five-match series in Australia. If they win two, then they join Bangladesh on 91 points but will be ranked behind their Asian rivals by a fraction of a point.
In the scenario of Pakistan winning the series, they will move ahead of Bangladesh and, as such, enhance their chances of direct qualification and make it tougher for West Indies.
Meanwhile, although there have been no official word from the West Indies Cricket Board regarding the planned two-T20I series in Lahore that Pakistan ave proposed recently, things took a downward turn after the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) issued a warning to foreign players regarding playing the Pakistan Super League 2017 final in Lahore in March.
But, according to the report in Duniya News, West Indies could still go ahead with the tour despite FICA’s concerns. “Our operations manager Roland Holder and head of security Paul Slowe will most likely be on that team and would report back to us,” said Azim Bassarath, the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, about the planned security assessment mission. “Despite the concerns cited by FICA, we will depend on what our team tells us.”
In the Caribbean, Pakistan start their campaign the 20-over contest against the world champions before moving to the ODIs from April 7. They will then play a three-day warm-up match in Jamaica starting on April 15, followed with the first Test at Sabina Park.
The two teams last met in the United Arab Emirates between September and November last year, with Pakistan winning the Tests 2-1, and both the ODIs and T20Is by 3-0 scorelines.
March 31: First T20I in Trinidad
April 2: Second T20I in Trinidad
April 7: First ODI in Guyana
April 9: Second ODI in Guyana
April 11: Third ODI in Guyana
April 22: First Test in Jamaica
April 30: Second Test in Barbados
May 10: Third Test in Dominica