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Pakistan offers SA matches at neutral venue

Pakistan offers SA matches at neutral venue

Pakistan has offered to play three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 games.

Karachi: Pakistan has offered to play South Africa in three Tests, five one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches in the United Arab Emirates later this year, an official said Saturday.

"South Africa were supposed to tour us but because of their security fears they declined to come and that's why we have offered them to play this full series of Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 at the neutral venue of the Emirates," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt told AFP.

Butt said instead of coming to Pakistan, South Africa wanted to play the series on their grounds, which was not cost effective.

"If we play the series in South Africa, it would have incurred losses to us, so we have offered them to play in the Emirates and we hope they will agree to our proposal," said Butt.

The series would likely to be played in October-November this year.

Pakistan has been a no-go country for foreign teams since the 9-11 attacks on the United States in 2001 and the ensuing war on terror for which the Washington counts Pakistan as an ally.

Although South Africa toured Pakistan in 2003 and 2007, they refused to play a match in Karachi over security fears.

Pakistan's reputation as a "dangerous venue" was further hit by a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March last year.

The attack, which left seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach injured besides killing eight people, laid to rest any chances of Pakistan staging international cricket in the near future.

The International Cricket Council relocated Pakistan's 14 matches in the 2011 World Cup to the other host countries, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan was also forced to play its three home series -- against the West Indies, Australia and New Zealand -- in the UAE in the last two years after the three teams refused to tour over security fears.

Pakistan are also scheduled to play their home Test series against Australia in England later this year.Australia have been refusing to tour Pakistan since 1998 over security fears.

first published:January 23, 2010, 21:29 IST