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West Indies, Pakistan in talks about December tour: CWI CEO

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave said Wednesday the country’s board was in contact with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the security arrangements for the team’s December tour to Pakistan.

The West Indies are scheduled to play three one-day internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals in Pakistan.

“I had a call with Wasim Khan, the Pakistan CEO, (on Tuesday) morning, to find out everything that had happened during the past week, on the back of New Zealand abandoning their tour and England’s decision not to go there, and to suggest that we have another call later this week with our operational teams to discuss our women’s and men’s tours that are scheduled for later this year,” Grave told Trinidad Newsday.

“We’ll speak to our Independent Security Consultants, ESI, who we used back in 2018 when we went to Pakistan. We’ve had an initial meeting with WIPA (West Indies Players Association) too about it, and we’re going to follow the same process, that we have done in the past.”

The CWI CEO said the board would follow standard procedures that they did back in 2018, with board of directors, WIPA, as well as the players reviewing the security plans.

“We’re looking at getting our (T20) players to the World Cup and our Test players into Antigua for a camp, and then over to Sri Lanka. We’re not due (in Pakistan) with the men’s team until the 9th of December, so we’ve got a bit of time,” he said.

“We’re going to be finalising travel arrangements in terms of COVID restrictions and quarantines and, in the case of Pakistan, we always have independent security advice by people who are used by all the international boards and the ICC,” he added.

The development comes after the England Cricket Board (ECB) announced that it was cancelling its team’s tour of Pakistan following New Zealand’s last-minute decision to pull out due to a “security alert”.

In a blistering response to the cancellation of the tour by the ECB and NZC, cricket board chairman Ramiz Raja had said Pakistan had been “used and binned” by the “Western Bloc”, adding that he thinks Australia will join New Zealand and England in cancelling their tour of the South Asian country.

England on Monday called off their men’s and women’s teams tour of Pakistan next month citing the “mental and physical well-being” of the players.

It followed New Zealand’s abrupt abandonment of their tour minutes before the opening fixture in Rawalpindi on Friday following a supposed “security alert” from their government.

“How I wish today that I was still a YouTuber, rather than the chairman of the cricket board because I would have absolutely taken on New Zealand and England unabashedly,” Raja said while speaking during a virtual news conference.

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