PCB to make last effort to convince Australia on tour

February 3rd, 2009 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 3 (IANS) Pakistan’s cricket chief Ijaz Butt will hold a crucial meeting with top Cricket Australia (CA) officials in Melbourne Wednesday to decide the fate of a proposed bilateral one-day series in April.According to sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Butt will make one last-ditch effort to convince Australia to visit Pakistan and play the series that is to include five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International.

However, senior PCB officials are not hopeful about Australia agreeing to tour Pakistan following the International Cricket Council (ICC) decision to move the Champions Trophy from the country Sunday because of security concerns.

According to the sources, the main item on the agenda of Butt’s meeting with top CA officials - Creagh O Connor (chairman) and James Sutherland (chief executive) - will be to take a decision on a neutral venue for the series.

Pakistan has various options as far as neutral venue is concerned as it can host the one-day series in Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Dubai or England if the Aussies refuse to tour Pakistan.

Australia had agreed to tour Pakistan last year after scrapping its 2008 tour of the country on security grounds. It was decided that Australia will come to Pakistan and play a one-day series in 2009 and will tour the country again in 2010 for the Test series. Pakistan suffered major losses because of the cancellation of last year’s home series against Australia.

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