Pak wants to play Australians at home, keeps neutral venue option open

January 7th, 2009 - 2:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, Jan 7 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt has reiterated that Pakistans priority is to host Australias tour in their home country, but admitted that a neutral venue for the series remains a possibility.

Ijaz also said that he and chief operating officer Salim Altaf had not visited the facilities in Kuala Lumpur last week scotching reports that they had inspected the ground following a meeting at the Asian Cricket Council headquarters.

The Daily Times quoted Ijaz as saying that the PCB had no discussions with the Australians on playing the coming one-day series in Malaysia and neither did he visit any such proposed venues.

The priority is that Australia tours Pakistan and they have also conveyed to us they would like to play the series in Pakistan as they have not visited Pakistan since 1998. The Australians will, as the tour approaches, carry out normal security checks and take advice from their foreign office and security consultants, he added.

But we are pushing them to play in Pakistan and be assured we will provide them the top security for the one-day series.

However, Ijaz said the option of playing the series at a neutral venue remained on the table if Australia were unhappy with the security situation.

The options are there, but they have not been discussed specifically as yet with the Australian cricket officials.

Cricket Australia has promised to tour Pakistan on two separate occasions in 2009, the first of which has been planned for April, and will include five ODIs and a Twenty20 match.

They were due to visit in March 2008, but pulled out with security concerns. Pakistan didnt play a Test in 2008 and their hosting of the Champions Trophy in September was also postponed after some of the participating nations expressed concerns over security conditions. (ANI)

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