Stafanie Taylor skips Pakistan tour, will join West Indies women in Dubai
Stafanie Taylor will not travel to Pakistan with West Indies. © AFP

Stafanie Taylor, captain of the West Indies women’s cricket team, has opted out of the forthcoming tour of Pakistan because of safety concerns.

The news came hours after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that West Indies will tour Pakistan for the first time in 15 years for a three-match T20I series to be held in Karachi. Taylor, the veteran of 114 ODIs and 93 T20Is, will link up with West Indies in Dubai for the three ODIs against the Pakistan women’s team on February 7, 9 and 11.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) have named Merissa Aguilleira as the replacement skipper for the T20Is on January 31 and February 1 and 3 at Karachi’s Southend Club. The allrounder Shekera Selman is Aguilleira’s deputy for the series. (ALSO READAfter 15 years, West Windies women to tour Pakistan for T20Is)

Pakistan will face West Indies and Bangladesh at home and away in the ICC Women’s Championship till July 31.

The CWI Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave said in a media release Thursday that the security plan arranged by the PCB is of exactly the same level that the West Indies men’s team had in 2018 and that the independent security advisors it had contracted confirmed to that they are satisfied that the risk is manageable and can be mitigated to an acceptable level. (ALSO READ: Cricket Australia tells PCB they won’t be touring)

Pakistani security personnel escort vehicles carrying the Pakistan and West Indies cricket teams in 2018
Pakistani security personnel escort vehicles carrying the Pakistan and West Indies cricket teams in 2018. ©AFP

“Following the successful hosting of the Windies’ men’s team in Pakistan in April 2018, we have confirmed to the PCB that our Windies women’s squad will now also play a three-match T20I series in Karachi. This tour is a further major step for our friends at the Pakistan Cricket Board to bring their cricket back home, and we are pleased that our players and support staff have recognised this and supported this venture,” said Grave. “We have made it very clear to the players and support staff that should any of them have any personal reservations about this tour, than we fully understand and accept their position.”

Apart from five limited-overs games against minnows Zimbabwe in 2015, Pakistan had until 2017 not hosted top-level international cricket since militants attacked the bus of the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight people and wounding seven players and staff.

In the second half of 2017, a World XI coached by Andy Flower and featuring Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Paul Collingwood and the Australian trio of current Test skipper Tim Paine, George Bailey and Ben Cutting travelled to Pakistan  for a three-match T20I series. This was followed by a visit from a depleted Sri Lankan team, and last year West Indies played three T20Is in Karachi.