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No split in tour

Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies finalised.

With the Pakistan Cricket Board hoping to host India in the return leg of the bilateral series in August next year, the PCB has convinced West Indies Cricket Board to play a full series in July rather than splitting the national team’s scheduled trip to the Caribbean.

The Pakistan cricket team was initially scheduled to tour West Indies in June and July next year. But the itinerary had ran into trouble when the West Indies Cricket Board requested its Pakistan counterparts to postpone the series by a few weeks, as they wanted to host India and Sri Lanka in a short triangular one-day series, also in July.

Last week, it was reported that the PCB and WICB were contemplating over dividing the scheduled itinerary into two legs in a bid to allow the former to create a window for a home series against archrivals India in August.

However, sources from inside the Pakistan Cricket Board, on Wednesday confirmed that Pakistan would now be travelling to the West Indies in July 2013 as planned to play a full-fledged series, comprising two Tests, five One Day Internationals and a one-off T20 International fixture.

“The problem is now sorted out and our team will be touring (West Indies) in July as planned earlier,” a source told the media yesterday.”

Pakistan is very hopeful and keen that India can be convinced to come to Pakistan because India have made it clear it does not have a policy of playing any bilateral series in a third country,” the source added.

The sub-continental cricketing giants have recently resumed bilateral cricketing ties after a gap of more than five years, with the Pakistan players touring India for a short-limited overs series, and the Pakistan Cricket Board is hoping to invite the India cricketers for a return leg of the bilateral series in late 2013.

“Since bilateral ties have resumed after five years (as India and Pakistan are playing each other currently in India) and presently there is lot of positivity in relations between the two boards, there is a good chance that India might listen to the suggestion of playing in August,” another source said.

Pakistan have not hosted an international cricket game since March 2009 when the touring Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus was attacked by militants in Lahore and a number of players injured. (windiescricket)††

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