The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has proposed a two-Test offshore series with Pakistan in November this year, an offer the fixture-starved Pakistan Cricket Board is considering.
If agreed, the Tests would take place in Abu Dhabi, after the three-ODI series between the two sides on November 12, 14 and 16. "We have received a proposal from the WICB about two Tests this November," a PCB official "Many things have to be considered, such as the TV rights, gate money and so on. We will seriously consider the proposal."
Ijaz Butt, the newly appointed chairman of the PCB, said monetary issues needed to be sorted out before confirming the Test series.
"We hope the proposal materialises and we find some sponsor for the Test matches," Butt told Associated Press. "We have to pay the West Indies Cricket Board (for the Tests) according to ICC regulations. Time is short, but I am hopeful something positive will come out."
Pakistan are likely to push for the series to happen as they haven't played a single Test this year. But apart from the financial and logistical factors, they will have to weigh up the impact of playing a Test series once again in a neutral venue.
It is territory they have covered before. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 in 2001, a number of teams refused to tour Pakistan for security reasons. The situation compelled Pakistan to play a two-Test series against West Indies in 2002 in Sharjah and then against Australia later in the year.
Increasing political instability and militant violence over the last 18 months has meant that Pakistan finds itself in a similar situation. Australia pulled out of a full tour in March and the Champions Trophy, also scheduled to be played in Pakistan, was postponed to September-October 2009 after a number of teams refused to visit due to security concerns. If the series goes ahead in Abu Dhabi, it may well set a precedent for the immediate future.
The previous PCB administration had invited West Indies for a two-Test series in Pakistan to fill gaps in their Future Tours Programme this November but turned down the offer as they still weren't convinced about the security situation.