LAHORE – The Cricket Australia and Pakistan Cricket Board are planning to submit an official proposal to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a five-match Twenty20 series prior to the ICC World Twenty20 schedule to be held in Sri Lanka in September.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said if the UAE proposal was agreed to by Pakistan, the formats could also change from the original schedule of five ODIs and one T20. “It makes sense that if matches are to be played there, in order to avoid the heat and reduce the number of one-day internationals we play, we’d play T20,” Sutherland said.
The five-match series if permitted by the International Cricket Council would be the longest Twenty20 bilateral series between two countries.
Reportedly the cricket world governing body has already rejected a proposal made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to have a seven-match Twenty20 series and asked them to consider and discuss their proposal in the ICC chief executives meeting to be held in Kuala Lumpur later this month.
A source in the Pakistan Cricket Board revealed that United Arab Emirate likely to be selected a venue to stage the Pakistan-Australia series as it would be better to hold Twenty20 matches rather than five one-day internationals as those start late in the evening and could beat the hot and humid weather there.
“Both boards believe that the best way to deal with the hot and humid weather in August-September in the United Arab Emirates is to play Twenty20 internationals as those can start late and go into the night,” the official said.
He also informed that Cricket Australia (CA) had shown its readiness to play five Twenty20 matches as they also wanted their team to get preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup.
Earlier, the PCB had sent its director international cricket and former Pakistan Test captain and coach, Intikhab Alam to Kuala Lumpur and UAE to inspect and assess the grounds and weather conditions as both are the possible neutral venues to stage the Australia series.
Intikhab stated that he had visited UAE and Malaysia and both the conditions and the wickets in these two countries are the same. “We would keep in mind several factors before taking the final decision on the selection of the venue,” he added.
Intikhab further said that it is the prime effort of PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf that international cricket should return to Pakistan at the earliest and the issues of PCB security wall is one of those factors which would stall the revival of international cricket to Pakistan as no team has toured Pakistan after the terrorists attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009 on security grounds.