The proliferating Twenty20 leagues seems to be having an impact on bilateral tours and could lead to the postponement of West Indies’ three-match T20 tour of Pakistan early next year. The tour is likely to be held in 2024.
With several T20 leagues like the ILT20 in the UAE, the SA20 in South Africa, the BBL in Australia and the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) taking place in January-February 2023, the two boards are not sure West Indies players will be available for national duty, according to a report in the ESPNCricinfo.com.
West Indies have already visited Pakistan twice in the last 10 months, albeit because the Covid-19 pandemic split one white-ball series in December 2021 into two. The two sides played three T20Is that month, before a Covid outbreak in the West Indies camp meant the subsequent ODIs had to be postponed to June this year, the report said.
This series of three T20Is was scheduled in between New Zealand’s visit to Pakistan in the winter of 2022-23 and the Pakistan Super League next year. The three games will most likely be added to West Indies’ visit in February 2024 when they are due to play three Tests as part of the World Test Championship, the report added.
Several West Indies players have already been signed up to take part in the BBL, SA20 and ILT20. Though Pakistan’s players did not feature in the SA20 auction, none of the players have been given NOCs for the ILT20.
With the IPL set to follow these leagues in January 2023, many West Indies players would not be available, resulting in the tour of Pakistan could be postponed till the next season.