PCB likely to host Australia at a neutral venue in UAE

February 4th, 2009 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 4 (INAS) Pakistan’s efforts to convince Australia to come and play a proposed one-day series here in April have failed and the games are now likely to be played at a neutral venue in United Arab Emirates (UAE).A source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told IANS that in a meeting with PCB chairman Ijaz Butt in Melbourne Wednesday, top Cricket Australia (CA) officials made it clear that their team cannot tour Pakistan because of security apprehensions.

However, according to the sources, CA has agreed to play the series if it is held at some offshore venue. Following Butt’s meeting with CA officials, PCB officials have starting making preparations for the series to be staged in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in April.

The exact itinerary of the series is likely to be released on Feb 6 following Butt’s return from Australia.

The series is likely to include five one-dayers and two Twenty20 internationals. Butt was confident that the series will be held in a successful manner.

“I think the series will be going ahead. There is no hope of the series being played in Pakistan. But we are discussing dates and venues, which I will let the media know when I return home on Friday,” the PCB chief told IANS from Melbourne.

Australia has not toured Pakistan since 1998. They was supposed to play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 game in Pakistan last year but scrapped the tour because of security fears.

Pakistan and Australia met in a bilateral series in 2002 in Colombo and Sharjah because of uncertain situation in the wake of the 9/11 terror strikes in the US.

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