LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) representative Intikhab Alam, deputed to assess the facilities at Malaysia and UAE, had reached Dubai after visiting Malaysia on Wednesday night to monitor and assess the facilities available for the Australia series, it has been learnt.
Intikhab spent two days in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and inspected the facilities at the Kinrara Academy Oval. He also inspected hotels around the venue. It is being said that he will spend two days in the UAE before returning to Pakistan.
Pakistan are to engage Australia in five One-day Internationals and three Twenty20 games. But if the series were to be held in the UAE, there is a possibility that the schedule could be changed. “Nothing is confirmed yet. We are still in the process of finalising the venue,” a source said.
Earlier, the PCB has shortlisted two neutral venues, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates to host the series. The PCB did not want to postpone or delay the series and want to play the series at neutral venues at any cost while on the other hand Australia is also willing to play the series around August 15.
Another official said that Intikhab, PCB Director of International Cricket, and PCB’s Inernational Relations Manager Usman Wahla will hold talks with the ECB. The UAE has been Pakistan’s home venue since 2009 but with the series scheduled in August, the PCB has been looking at different venues other than the UAE, because of the searing temperatures in the region.
Emirates Cricket Board chief Dilawar Mani said that having a late start to matches will counter the heat factor. “We have made them a proposal. We can have a late start to games. We could start matches at 8pm,” he said. The PCB will finalise the venue after receiving report from Intikhab who is due to reach in Pakistan within a couple of days.
Earlier, Mani has shown interest in hosting the series as the PCB had declined to think about UAE as neutral venue due to severe heat in desert. But after receiving offer from Mani the PCB has looked at Malaysia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to host the series.
But it now looks like UAE is back on the radar with Mani’s proposal of having a late start to matches. The choice of venues has narrowed down to two with the UAE and Malaysia in the running. Sri Lanka was originally supposed to host the series but withdrew later as the dates clash with the Sri Lankan Premier League.