As the push for day-night Test cricket gathers momentum around the world, West Indies have agreed in principle to play a pink-ball Test against Pakistan in the UAE in September, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The WICB were initially reluctant but the PCB’s offer of a practice match and training sessions under lights appears to have changed its mind.
The PCB also proposed to revise the composition of the tour to three Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is, from the earlier plan of two Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is, according to the FTP.
The Pakistan board has been keen to host a day-night Test and made a bid in 2013 to play one against Sri Lanka in UAE. The proposal, however, was declined with lack of practice with the pink ball cited as the reason. Earlier this year, Pakistan agreed to a day-night Test against Australia in Brisbane in December.
The PCB is also set to introduce ten day-night matches in its forthcoming first-class season, which starts in September. The plan will be implemented in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches, including the semi-final and final, to ensure every top team is acquainted with the demands of long-form cricket under lights.
The PCB had also weighed up Sri Lanka as an alternative venue to host West Indies, to counter the growing expenses in UAE, which has been host to Pakistan’s home series for a decade now. The proposal of playing outside UAE had emerged after the Pakistan Super League was held in Dubai and Sharjah in February; it cost the PCB more than US$ 3 million (Pakistan rupees 31.4 crore approx) to stage the tournament over two weeks. The idea, however, was dropped after assessing the drawback of playing in Sri Lanka during the monsoon.
Pakistan has largely remained a no-go zone for international teams since March 3, 2009, when gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus during the Lahore Test. Since then, the UAE has hosted a majority of Pakistan’s home series, with only Afghanistan and Zimbabwe visiting Pakistan for one series each.