LAHORE - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to host home series against Australia in United Arab Emirates (UAE), it has been learnt.
The PCB's insistence on having one-dayers as part of the series is driven by commercial reasons. The 50-over format allows more advertising breaks and thus greater revenue to be raised by the broadcaster.
It is learnt that the discussion between Cricket Australia and Pakistan Cricket Board officials had taken place in Kuala Lumpur and that details of the tour and itinerary have not been finalised but Cricket Australia officials have agreed in principle to a proposal that the PCB has put to them.
Cricket Australia officials after going through the details will inform the PCB about their willingness to play ODI or Twenty20 series within next 24 hours. "The Cricket Australia after going through the final details will reply to Pakistan Cricket Board in the next 24 hours after receiving nod from the Australian counterpart PCB will announce the itinerary and venue of the series within the next two or three days," the source revealed
Earlier last week, the PCB officials visited United Arab Emirates to finalise arrangements with Emirates Cricket Board officials and one of the points they have been discussing is shifting the start time of ODIs from 3.30pm to 5.30pm to avoid the worst of the daytime heat.
"CA has in principle agreed to three ODIs and three T20Is but it would only confirm that once they have had detailed discussions with their players," the source revealed. The ACA secretary had also welcomed the idea of a 6-match T20 series after the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave approval, on Monday.
On the other hand, Pakistan and Australia both want to save their players from injuries and fatigue and also to prepare for the World Twenty20 Cup to be held in Sri Lanka in September and October. The two boards agreed to play 3 one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals to prepare themselves for the mega event.
Australia were supposed to play a Test and one-day series in Pakistan earlier this year but refused to tour on security grounds. Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998. Pakistan Cricket Board had lost millions of dollars in revenue since 2009 after the terrorists attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore. The major cricket playing countries, Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies have also refuse to tour Pakistan on security concerns.
Meanwhile, the PCB are set to make a decision to use the UAE as a base to stage ‘home’ matches and thinking about signing a three-year deal with the Emirates Cricket Board to play matches at Dubai's new cricket stadium.
The PCB earlier also announced that it had invited the West Indies to play two Test matches in Abu Dhabi. A three-match one-day series has already been scheduled for the capital in November.
"PCB has suffered a number of financial setbacks and now wants to generate funds once again while the cricket playing countries have made it clear that they do not want to visit Pakistan,” the source claimed. "The UAE would prove to be an ideal venue for us because it is close to Pakistan and there are lot of Pakistanis that live there”, the source added.
"Playing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is crucial to our future as Pakistan losing around US$5 million to US$10m annually after the refusal from international teams to visit Pakistan on security grounds.. As the world's leading cricketers now prepare to head to the UAE to face Pakistan, the source maintained.
Pakistan Cricket Board was banking on India as they are due to tour Pakistan early next year and the PCB is adamant that the series against arch-rivals India must go ahead for sporting and financial reasons. In case India refuse to tour Pakistan then the UAE would be a suitable neutral venue for the series between arch-rivals, the source said.