Decision on proposed Pakistan-West Indies Test series soon

October 27th, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Oct 27 (IANS) The fate of Pakistan’s proposed two-match Test series against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi will be decided within the next 24 hours, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said Monday.The official told IANS on condition of anonymity that negotiations are on with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) regarding next month’s proposed Test series and a final decision will be made soon.

Pakistan has invited the West Indians to play two Tests in Abu Dhabi next month after a three-match One-day International series to be played between the two countries at the same venue from Nov 12-16. However, the WICB has demanded a hefty sum of $ 1 million dollars to play the two Tests.

The PCB official said that Pakistan has offered to pay WICB $400,000 for the proposed Test series. “Due to a lack of any lucrative television rights deal and sponsorship, it will be impossible for us to pay a million dollars for the Test series apart from other expenses,” said the official.

He hoped that the two parties will reach an amicable settlement over the issue. Pakistan is desperate to play Tests as it has not played a single Test this year following the postponement of its home series against Australia earlier this year. The Aussies refused to visit Pakistan citing security fears.

Pakistan was to host the Champions Trophy in September but the event was postponed after South Africa pulled out. Prior to that Australia pulled out of a full tour in March citing security fears and the last Test that Pakistan played was against India in December and the next is scheduled against India in January.

A PCB marketing team is working overtime in Abu Dhabi to secure sponsorship in a bid make the proposed Test series against the West Indies happen.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Cricket Club (ADCC) President Dilawar Mani said the UAE capital was willing to host the Test series.

“We will know in the next 48 hours whether the PCB has been able to get sponsors for the proposed two Tests. It is indeed short notice for PCB who have to generate funds for player fees and staging of the Tests,” Mani was quoted as saying by the Gulf News Monday.

“As far as ADCC is concerned we have not forgotten that every time we have invited Pakistan they have obliged and stood by us. So in this need of hour we are most willing to help them,” he added.

If Abu Dhabi gets to host the two Tests, it will be a first for the Zayed International Cricket Stadium to stage the five-day version and the second time that the UAE will be staging Test matches. The neighbouring Sharjah has played host to Test cricket involving Pakistan and Australia and Pakistan and West Indies in 2002.

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