Friday, February 3, 2012

PCB asks England to host tri-series with India, Pakistan

Karachi: PCB chief Zaka Ashraf proposed that the England and Wales Cricket Board hosts a one-day tri-series involving Pakistan and India next year, during the recent ICC executive board meeting held in Dubai.
A board official said that during the ICC meeting, Ashraf had held informal talks with the heads of the other boards, including England and India, and proposed that England can host a tri-series next year involving Pakistan and India.
"Ashraf's contention is that the series would be a success in England due to the presence of a big Pakistani and Indian population in the United Kingdom and Europe, and secondly, it would also pave the way for proper restoration of bilateral ties between Pakistan and India soon," the source said.
During the meeting, the president of the South African cricket board also made an offer to host an ODI series between Pakistan and Australia.
"The South African cricket head assured his Pakistani counterpart that Pakistan would incur less expenses compared to if it decided to organize the series at some other neutral venue, including the UAE," one board official said.
He said while the PCB was keen to get international teams to start touring Pakistan again, it was, however, aware of the fact that it might be forced to play the one-day series against Australia once again at a neutral venue.
"Since it will be the month of fasting and the weather will be hot during July-August in the UAE, that is why Pakistan are looking at other alternate neutral venues as well," he said.
Pakistan have been forced to play all their 'home' series at neutral venues since March 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding some of the visiting players.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi, since 2009, have become virtual 'home' grounds for Pakistan, who are currently also playing their 'home' series against England at these two venues.
The PCB chief said he had assured his South African counterpart that he would get back to them after consulting his board members regarding the proposal.
"South Africa is a viable neutral venue for us because of many factors but once I get back to Pakistan, we will discuss this proposal further and see how it goes. We also have to consult the Australians about this," he added.
One source said that since the World T20 Cup will also be held in September in Sri Lanka, the Pakistan and Australian boards are looking at increasing the number of T20 matches in the coming series, which presently includes five one-day internationals and two T20 matches.
South Africa has, in the past, hosted an edition of the Indian Premier League with success.

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