After much speculation surrounding the tour of Pakistan to the Caribbean, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) yesterday confirmed the visit and announced the schedule for the series starting on July 14 with two ODIs being played at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The series marks the return of international cricket to Guyana after a one-year absence and preparations to host this highly anticipated tour will now be put into effect after this confirmation.
The scheduling of international cricket here signals that the 18-month standoff between the Guyana Government and the Guyana Cricket Board has petered out or that differences have been papered over for this tour. The WICB had suspended international matches here after the government installed a committee led by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd to run the cricket establishment here.
The GCB and the WICB fought against this amid a flurry of litigation and other manoeuvres. In recent months the confrontational tone has disappeared while Lloyd’s committee has gone quiet and the GCB is effectively back in charge.
The series includes five One Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20 Internationals. Guyana will host the first two ODIs, followed by three ODIs at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia. The Arnos Vale Cricket Ground in St Vincent will host the two Twenty20 Internationals on July 27 and 28 to conclude the tour.
“It is a relief that the Guyanese public will see international cricket at home, we the Guyana Cricket Board [GCB] did our best to ensure that cricket returned to Guyana,” GCB Secretary Anand Sanasie said in an interview with Stabroek Sport.
“The GCB has also been ensuring that all local competitions are being played and done so according to rules regulations, we continued to present tough representation to the WICB so we can have cricket played here again and hopefully it continues in the future,” he said.
“This has been a bumper year for international cricket in the Caribbean, we have had a full series with West Indies and Zimbabwe and the Celkon Mobile Cup including India and Sri Lanka is about to commence,” Sanasie said.
“The seven match series involving Pakistan will give fans, especially cricket starved fans in Guyana, more international cricket action to rally behind the West Indies team,” WICB Corporate Communications Officer Imran Khan said.
“2013 has been a landmark year in West Indies cricket with four teams touring the Caribbean for the first time ever outside of world events. We look forward to the fans in Guyana, St Lucia and St Vincent turning out in their massive numbers to enjoy the cricketing action and the unparalleled cricketing atmosphere which many have copied but not matched,” Khan added.
The Pakistan National team is expected to arrive on July 8 and the iconic Bourda Cricket Ground will be the venue for the warm-up 50-over match set for Thursday July 11.
Guyana National Stadium, Guyana
Sunday July 14 – First ODI
Tuesday July 16 – Second ODI
Beausejour Cricket Grounds
Friday July 19 – Third ODI
Sunday July 21 – Fourth ODI
Wednesday July 24 – Fifth ODI
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Arnos Vale Cricket Ground
Saturday July 27 – First Twenty20 International
Sunday July 28 – Second Twenty20 International