The West Indies women's tour of Pakistan next month won't go ahead until the players' safety is guaranteed, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has said.
The WICB had announced the team's tour of Asia last week, but the recent bombing in Islamabad puts the Pakistan leg in doubt. "We are very concerned that the female players will be at risk especially in light of the Marriott bombing and as such, the Pakistan leg of the tour has been put on hold until the safety of the team is determined," Donald Peters, the WICB chief executive, told the Caribbean Media Corporation. "The Sri Lanka and Bangladesh legs, however, are still on."
West Indies will play five one-dayers and three Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan. They are not scheduled to visit Rawalpindi (about 36km from Islamabad), and except one ODI in Hyderabad, will play all their games in Karachi. The team is slated to arrive in Karachi on October 14. The ODIs are between October 18 and 26, before the Twenty20 games on October 28, 29 and 31.
"Of course the violence in Pakistan is an issue but while I am concerned, especially after the Marriott bombing, I am not fearful," team manager Carol Wilby-Maxwell said "I am not saying that the team should go, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what part of the world you are in, there will be potential danger."
The PCB had also invited the West Indies men's team to Pakistan for a two-Test series, immediately after the countries play a one-day series in Abu Dhabi in November. However, the WICB is yet to make a final decision. Senior players have expressed their reluctance to visit Pakistan, and Peters had said a young squad might be sent.
Seven months ago, the ICC had switched the women's World Cup qualifiers from Pakistan to South Africa. Pakistan haven't hosted a women's ODI since the Asia Cup in 2005-06.