Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has played down concerns expressed by the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) over playing late night ODIs in the UAE next month.
Some former Pakistani players also criticised the ACA for its rigid stand on the Pakistan-Australia series, scheduled to be held from August 28 to September 10 in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai.
The ODIs are scheduled to start around 6pm local time to beat the hot weather in the Emirates at this time of the year. However, the ACA has expressed its dissatisfaction again, stating that the schedule created 'a whole new set of safety issues.'
"Are there any safety issues of playing sport at that time of the night?" asked ACA chief executive Paul Marsh. "If you're standing there facing someone bowling at 150kph, are you going to be more tired at that time of day than you (otherwise) would be? Can they adjust their sleep patterns to play at that time of day? There are all of those things we have to look at."
But a senior official of the PCB said the itinerary was finalised after keeping Cricket Australia (CA) on board. "There is no big issue in the late start and the players are professionals and supposed to make adjustments for internationals," the official said.
He also pointed out that they were gaps between the ODIs to allow players sufficient time to recover from late night finishes. "Since we have been forced to play our home series at neutral venues and due to the packed international calendar before the ICC T20 World Cup we had no option but to schedule the series the way we have done," he said.
He also made it clear that while finalising the timings and venues the PCB had to keep in mind requirements of the broadcasters and sponsors as well.