The highly anticipated West Indies tour of Pakistan – which was due to take place later this month – has been postponed due to smog in Lahore, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials revealed on Monday.
Severe smog in Lahore, among other reasons, forced the three-match T20 series to be postponed until next year at the earliest.
“The West Indies series has been postponed until next year for a number of reasons,” a PCB official told the Express Tribune.
“Weather conditions in Lahore right now make it impossible for cricket to take place. Even domestic matches for the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy have been disturbed so the PCB have decided to delay the series.”
According to PakistanToday, one person was killed and several others injured on Tuesday after vehicles collided as a result of the poor visibility due to smog.
For the same reason, flights remain suspended at the Lahore Airport and sections of the motorway have been closed to traffic.
Meteorological officials in Pakistan are unable to predict when the heavy smog over the city will clear
Other reasons for the postponement
With security still a concern, it has been reported that six Windies players, including Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, have refused to visit Pakistan.
On 3 March 2009, a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers was attacked by 12 gunmen near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Six members of the team were injured and six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed.
Since this incident, the PCB has made huge efforts to secure the return of international cricket to their country.
Last month Sri Lanka played a successful T20 game at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. This was the first time in eight years that a Test-playing team toured Pakistan.
Aside from security, the commitment of several West Indies players to participate in the Bangladesh Premiere League, which started last weekend and wraps up on December 12, is another reason.
Additionally, the West Indies are set for a two-Test tour of New Zealand later this month.
The tour is now expected to take place after March 2018, PCB officials revealed.