Champions Trophy qualification: Pakistan keen to avoid triple trouble

The board is mulling opting out of playing a tri-series against West Indies and Zimbabwe


Nabeel Hashmi July 24, 2015
FRESH WOUNDS: Pakistan will be wary of facing the West Indies, who beat them comprehensively in the recently concluded World Cup. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is all set to ditch plans of playing an ODI triangular series with Zimbabwe and West Indies in September as the side almost secured ICC Champions Trophy qualification after they went 3-1 against Sri Lanka to clinch the five-match series.

A victory in the fifth one-dayer will give Pakistan a 4-1 series win and 92 points, which will confirm their place as the eighth and final team in the competition if neither Pakistan nor West Indies play any more games before the September cut off.

There were reports in the media of a triangular contest between the three sides, which would ultimately have been a play-off between Pakistan and West Indies to qualify for the lucrative Champions Trophy.

But with Pakistan in a secure position, the PCB think tank has decided not to take part in any more ODI matches to ensure that the team does not lose points. However, a loss in the final game can make the race to qualify too close to call and might therefore prompt a rethink by the management.

The board is likely to tell Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) officials that they would rather play a T20 series with the African side or a triangular T20 series with Zimbabwe and West Indies than compete in any more 50-over games and risk losing their eighth spot.

“We’ve not officially committed to the ODI triseries with either Zimbabwe or West Indies so nothing is concrete,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune. “The team has done well and has almost confirmed its position for the Champions Trophy and we don’t want to waste the effort of the boys, who have played extremely well against Sri Lanka. We’ll happily play a T20 series but as far as one-dayers are concerned, the PCB needs to look at its own interests as well and that is understandable.”

Meanwhile, the official added that the PCB will not ruin the board’s relations with Zimbabwe after ZC sent their team to Pakistan, bringing Pakistan out of cricketing exile by allowing the subcontinent country to host a series on home soil after six years.

“We’ll never forget what Zimbabwe did for us and we’ll play a full-fledged tour with them in the near future, which will consist of Tests, ODIs and T20Is as well,” added the official. “Both boards can find a suitable window for such an arrangement.”

COMMENTS (19)

Mohammed Hussein | 6 years ago | Reply @Harris: Yes, Your country Pakistan is full of Terrorist so how can any innocent countries players come and play. They want to play not to die. Get your country and your self straight first then invite others.
Harris | 6 years ago | Reply @Ravi: Send your team to pakistan in Decemeber and we will see who is coward actually. remember, the last time we toured your country and what junaid Khan and Nasir jamshed did to you guys. Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, the trio's career ended with that series. Bring it on and this time it might be Dhoni's turn
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