ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor has opted out of the Karachi leg of the upcoming Pakistan series over security concerns, with former captain Merissa Aguilleira chosen to lead the side in her absence.
It means Taylor will miss the opening Twenty20 International phase of the tour but will return for the three-match One-Day International series being hosted in Dubai.
Cricket West Indies chief executive, Jonny Grave, said while Pakistan Cricket Board had given assurances over the security risks, players were free to make their own decisions on the tour.
“The security plan arranged by the PCB is the exactly the same level that the Windies men’s team had last year and Independent security advisors, Eastern Star International (ESI) have confirmed to both CWI and WIPA that they are satisfied that the risk is manageable and can be mitigated to an acceptable level,” Grave said.
“We made it very clear to the players and support staff that should any of them have any personal reservations about this Tour, that we fully understand and accept their position.”
A weakened West Indies men side toured Pakistan last April for three T20Is, marking the first time a major cricket nation had played a full series in the volatile south Asian country in nine years, following the deadly attack on a Sri Lanka team bus.
Grave said the women’s tour, which runs from January 31 to February 11, was another sign of CWI’s commitment to revival of international cricket in Pakistan.
“This tour is a further major step for our friends at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to bring their cricket back home, and we are pleased that our players and support staff have recognised this and agreed to play the T20Is in Pakistan,” he said.
Windies Women will also miss the services of leading opener Hayley Matthews who picked up a knee injury during the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia and is yet to fully recover.
She has been replaced by 24-year-old uncapped slow medium bowler Karishma Ramharack from Trinidad and Tobago.
Uncapped 21-year-old Jamaican batsman Rashada Williams has also gained the selectors’ favour.
“After a decent and competitive ICC World T20, the Windies Women will be expected to build on that momentum going into the away tour against Pakistan,” said chief selector Courtney Browne.
“The team needs to improve its showing in ODI cricket especially and the panel is expecting to see marked improvements during the ODI series.
“The team has been based at our high-performance Centre in Antigua over the last year and we have seen improvements, as reflected in the World T20, particularly in their fielding.”
He added that Williams had “impressed the selectors with her solid technique and her ability to play spin” while Ramharack had been “rewarded for her consistency in regional cricket.”
The Dubai ODIs, which forms part of the ICC Women’s Championship, bowl off February 7.
SQUAD – Stafanie Taylor (captain), Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Natasha McClean, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams.