Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not ruled out the possibility of accepting a proposal by its Emirates counterpart to play a series of seven Twenty20 Internationals against Australia in the UAE later this year. Pakistan is scheduled to play a series of five ODIs and three T20 matches against Australia from August and is still searching for a neutral venue to organise the matches.
The Emirates Cricket Board last week floated a proposal that they were willing to host the Pak-Australia series if the PCB decided to do away with the ODIs and instead play seven T20 matches against the Australians. According to the Emirates board, the proposal is viable since the matches can start late and be organised after Eid which should fall around August 22.
The PCB had initially ruled out UAE as a neutral venue for the series because of the weather conditions and month of Ramazan during the period the series is scheduled to start. "The proposal to have a series of T20 matches is viable and we are looking at it but first of all we need to have clearance from the International Cricket Council to organise such a large number of T20 internationals," PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed told PTI.
He pointed out that under existing ICC rules maximum three T20 matches could be played in a bilateral series between two countries. "It is a proposal that can be explored but at the same time we are studying other alternate venues for the series including Zimbabwe and Malaysia," he said.
Ahmed said that a decision on where the series would be held could be decided within a week's time. "We are looking at all the alternate venues and their cost effectiveness in organising the series plus the weather conditions and facilities," he added.
Pakistan since 2009 has played all its home series at neutral venues mostly at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah as foreign teams have refused to visit the country because of security concerns. "This is a high profile series and we want to earn something from it. It is a difficult situation for us because of teams refusing to play in Pakistan," Ahmed said.
On Tuesday PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf also said that India could also be a neutral venue for the series and he would dwell upon this with the BCCI officials when he will be in Chennai to watch the IPL final on Sunday.