Pakistan plan to host Australia in Sri Lanka

KARACHI,  (Reuters) – Pakistan plan to host their one-day series against Australia this August in Sri Lanka, a senior board official said  yesterday.

“In principle we have decided to hold the series against Australia in August in Sri Lanka but we are negotiating with the Sri Lankan board for a favourable deal,” Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed told Reuters.

Four one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games are planned. “The venues in Sri Lanka where we will hold the matches will be decided soon. The Australians have also not expressed any reservations over playing in Sri Lanka,” Ahmed said. Pakistan have been playing their “home” series in the UAE venues of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah since foreign teams refused to visit the country after a 2009 gun attack on the Sri Lanka side. Ahmed said UAE had been ruled out of contention because the weather in August would be too hot.

“In case we don’t reach a cost effective deal with the Sri Lankan board, South Africa is the other alternate neutral venue for us,” Ahmed said. The PCB has invited Bangladesh to break the mould and play a one-day series in Pakistan in April.

Ahmed said the PCB was still waiting for a positive response from the Bangladesh board.

“With time running out it appears difficult they will send their team to Pakistan which would be a shame,” he added.

“A series against Bangladesh at a neutral venue is not cost effective for us so that is not in our planning.”

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