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    India may host series against Australia: PCB

    Lahore: PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf hinted on Tuesday that Pakistan will not be shy of asking India to host their upcoming one-day series against Australia as bilateral cricket relations have recently improved between the two nations.

    The PCB is still searching for venues to host the five ODIs and three T20 matches against Australia from mid-August after Cricket Sri Lanka withdraw its offer to play host due to the clash of dates with the Sri Lankan Premier League.

    "We have yet to finalise the venues for the series but India can also hold the series for us and we are willing to play there," Ashraf told reporters.

    The PCB said it was considering several other options, including Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malaysia for the series.

    Ashraf said the recent visit by President Asif Zardari to India had played its part in breaking the ice as far as bilateral cricket relations were concerned between the two countries. "President Zardari, during his meeting with the Indian Premier in India, had discussed Indo-Pak cricket ties, and after that we got the positive news that they will be inviting our team for the Champions League this year," Ashraf said.

    He said the announcement about the Champions League by the BCCI president was a big step forward and things were looking positive now. "That is why I say you can't rule out India agreeing to host our series with Australia," Ashraf said.

    The PCB chief said the board's main concern while finalising the venues for the Australia series was to see the cost-effectiveness of the venture. "We need to be cost-effective and make some money from the series," he said.

    Ashraf also spoke about PCB's plans to launch the Pakistan Premier League and said that there would be no bar on inviting Indian players for the event when it is launched. He also said that he would be going to Chennai to watch the IPL final on an invitation from the BCCI and hoped he could have more positive discussions with his Indian counterpart on bilateral ties.