Pakistan cricket team departed for West Indies late Tuesday night, where it will play four T20Is, three ODIs and three Tests.
Speaking to media at Karachi Airport, limited-overs captain Sarfraz Ahmad and head coach Mickey Arthur termed the Windies tour crucial for Pakistan’s direct qualification for 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Coach Arthur on the occasion said that he felt “gutted” over a fresh alleged spot-fixing scandal that has engulfed his team, adding any players found guilty only had themselves to blame.
Singling out opener Sharjeel Khan, Arthur said: “He (Sharjeel) was in the team for all the formats. He had got his name on the map and he got himself fit and he was about to become an explosive player for us and it’s sad.”
But he added players could not plead ignorance about a failure to report approaches by would-be fixers because they had been warned repeatedly.
Pakistan and the West Indies — currently eighth and ninth in the one-day rankings — are vying for a direct place in the 2019 World Cup in England.
The world’s top eight teams at the time of the cut off date of September 2017 will qualify for while the rest will feature in a qualifying event in 2018.
Meanwhile, players took to Twitter to share their airport moments ahead of the departure.