The West Indies cricket team arrived in Pakistan ahead of the scheduled tour that will see the two teams square off in three one-day internationals and as many T20s.
The tour, which starts on December 13, will be played entirely in Karachi, and heavy security measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the visitors and the home squad.
This is the first time since 2018 that West Indies are visiting Pakistan and a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official revealed that the 21-man visiting squad were escorted to their hotel under heavy security.
The series comes three months after New Zealand cancelled their tour to Pakistan – their first in 18 years, due to security concerns. The decision made by the Kiwis was followed by England, who decided to cancel visits by their men’s and women’s teams scheduled for October.
While PCB were frustrated with the decision, insisting security measures were airtight in the country, neither England nor New Zealand refused to budge from their decision.
Pakistan have gone without a visit from rivals since 2009 after a terror attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team caused visitors to withdraw their interest in visiting the country.
The team were then forced to play their “home” international fixtures abroad, mainly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), until things were back on track.
For the visit by West Indies, a Special Weapons and Tactics team has been deployed and will be on standby to respond in case of emergencies.
As according Additional Inspector General Imran Yaqoob Minhas and DIG Security and Emergency Services Division Maqsood Ahmed, 46 DSPs, including 13 senior officers, 315 NGOs, 3,822 policemen and head policemen, 50 women security forces, 500 Response Team Force personnel, and 889 Special Security Unit commandos will be present to perform security duties along with Karachi traffic police.
A number of players, including Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, and Lendl Simmons have opted out of the tour for personal reasons, while former skipper Jason Holder is being rested too.
Fabian Allen, Obed McCoy, and captain Kieron Pollard are out due to injuries, but Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, and Odean Smith are expected to sync up with the team this week.
The three T20is Internationals will be established on December 13, 14, and 16, while the Test matches will be played on December 18, 20, and 22. WI T20I squad: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Rovman Powell.
WI T20I squad:
Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Rovman Powell
WI ODI squad:
Shai Hope (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr, Devon Thomas