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Windies begin first Pak tour for nine years

West Indies, who had refused to tour Pakistan over security concerns in 2002, arrive in Lahore to play three Tests and five ODIs.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 12:24 IST

The West Indies cricket squad arrived in Lahore on Tuesday to play three Tests and five one-day internationals during their first tour of Pakistan in nine years.

The West Indies had refused to tour Pakistan over security concerns in the wake of September 11 attacks and Pakistan had to play their home series on neutral grounds in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2002.

They last toured Pakistan in 1997.

West Indies, who finished runners-up to Australia in the Champions Trophy in India yesterday, have no pre-tour security fears now as England and arch-rivals India toured Pakistan in the past 12 months.

Legendary batsman Brian Lara is leading the 15-man side which has one uncapped player in opener Lendl Simmons.

Marlon Samuels, Wavell Hinds, Ian Bradshaw, Carlton Baugh and Dwayne Smith - who all were part of the team in the Champions Trophy - were dropped for the Test series against Pakistan.

Off-spinner Omari Banks, who last played a Test during the tour of Sri Lanka over a year ago, alongwith left-armer Dave Mohammed form the spin attack of the tourists.

Daren Powell makes a return, after missing the home series against India and Zimbabwe earlier this year, to strengthen the pace department which also includes Jerome Taylor, Fidel Edwards, Corey Collymore and Dwayne Bravo.

West Indies open the tour with a two-day match here from Wednesday.