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International cricket trickling back to Pakistan

KARACHI: International cricket’s slow trickle back into Pakistan continues with West Indies set to play a three-match Twenty20 series in Karachi in the first week of April, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has announced.

Pakistan has remained largely starved of international cricket since the 2009 attacks on a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, wounding six players and a British coach and killing eight Pakistanis.

The incident forced Pakistan to play nearly all of their home matches in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan have since hosted Zimbabwe, a World XI, and a Sri Lanka team for limited overs matches, all at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

“Good news! West Indies have agreed to play 3 T20 matches in KARACHI on 1, 2 and 4th April,” Sethi tweeted.

Karachi will also host the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on March 25.

“Lahore had Zimbabwe, PSL2 Final, ICC XI and Sri Lanka. Now it is Karachi’s turn to rise and shine with PSL3 Final and WI,” Sethi added.

International Cricket Council’s security consultant Reg Dickason will visit Karachi during the PSL final to assess security arrangement for the Twenty20 series.

“Their expert will stay back for seven days and conduct the security for West Indies series. This is part of our agreement with the West Indies board,” Sethi told reporters, adding PCB was unlikely to make any profit from the series.

“This will be a one-off series… it will be a loss-making enterprise. The idea wasn’t to make money, it was to bring cricket back, so this is a step in that direction.”

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