The proposed Test series between West Indies and Pakistan, planned originally for Abu Dhabi in November, will not be going ahead, after West Indies cited problems in their schedule. The decision leaves Pakistan with no Test cricket this year, despite repeated efforts by the board in the recent months to slot them in.
"The West Indies board have informed us that they cannot go ahead with the series," Salim Altaf, the Pakistan Cricket Board's director-general,
Had it gone ahead, the two-Test series would've taken place after the three ODIs between the two countries at the same venue in mid-November. The short amount of time left between now and then, however, turned out to be a hurdle.
"Their board said there wasn't enough time for them to negotiate touring terms for players with the WIPA (West Indies Player Association)," Altaf said. "They also have to go to New Zealand soon after, so the schedule would have been a bit hectic for them."
Even if West Indies had agreed to the Tests, the financial benefits for a cash-strapped Pakistan board would've been questionable. The postponement of the Australia home series and the Champions Trophy due to security concerns has hurt Pakistan badly. Organising the series with West Indies, a board official revealed to, would've cost roughly US$2 million.
Whether that would've been recovered, let alone a profit made, is doubtful. Few TV broadcasters were interested in a series on neutral territory with little spectator interest. One local sports channel, said the official, offered "the grand sum of US$40,000 to broadcast the series." Though playing Tests might've helped the team, "commercially it just wasn't very viable for us," the official said. Local reports also suggested that the amount the West Indies board had asked for as payment for what would be, in effect, a home series for Pakistan, wasn't something the PCB could afford.
However, Altaf revealed that the boards had agreed to talk again in Dubai in December to try and fit the tour in to the Future Tours Programme. "That is a positive thing. We will meet again and hopefully we can organise this series at a more suitable date."
Pakistan's next scheduled Test assignment is the home series against India starting in January.