Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board is yet to find a suitable 'neutral venue' to host its ODI series against Australia in August after Sri Lanka withdrew its offer to organise the high-profile series for the PCB.
A PCB official confirmed on Saturday that the Sri Lankan cricket board, after initially confirming it would host the series of five ODIs and three T20 matches from mid-August, had now changed its mind. "Apparently, they have changed their mind because they are holding the Sri Lankan Premier League T20 event from August 10 and its dates are clashing with our series," COO Subhan Ahmed said.
Ahmed said the Sri Lankan withdrawal was very disappointing but now the PCB had no option but to look for alternate venues to host the series. "The series is an important part of our preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup in September. We are now looking at possible neutral venues in South Africa, Malaysia and even UAE," he said.
Pakistan had initially dropped UAE as a neutral venue for the series due to the dates of matches clashing with the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and Eid festival and also because of the weather at that time of the year in the Emirate states. "We had started our preparations for the series and were looking at the commercial aspects of marketing the series in Sri Lanka but now we have to start afresh," he said.
Sri Lanka had agreed to host the series of five ODIs and three T20 matches from mid-August after the Australians refused to tour Pakistan because of security concerns.