Millennium Post

Pak-Aus series may be held Down Under

The Pakistan Cricket Board is studying the prospect of accepting an offer from Cricket Australia to hold a bilateral one-day series Down under this year.

'We are having a look at it as we are in the process of studying suitable venues to host the series after Sri Lanka withdrew its offer to host the series for us in August,' a PCB official said.

Pakistan is due to play a series of five ODIs and three T20 matches in the series, scheduled to begin from mid-August.

As expected the Australians have refused to play in Pakistan because of security reasons.

Cricket Sri Lanka initially offered to host the series for Pakistan but than withdrew after the dates for the Sri Lankan Premier League were finalised.

The PCB official said that the main criteria for finalising a suitable venue for the series was one that was cost effective for the board.

The 'Express' newspaper quoted a Cricket Australia official as saying that Australia was ready to host the series as some of its venue were suitable for international cricket in August and September.

'We were ready to play the series in Sri Lanka as it would have served us well keeping in mind that the ICC T20 World Cup is to be held in Sri Lanka this year. Pakistan is still the host and we're relying on it to find us a venue,' CA Public Affairs GM Peter Young said.

Young said that Cricket Australia could host the series in Australia.

'We realise that hosting the series in Australia may be a bit expensive but if the PCB doesn't find any other venue, we can schedule it to take place here.'

Darwin and Cairns are two international venues in Australia where cricket is played in August and September.

The PCB is also considering an offer from the Emirates Cricket Board to convert the series into a series of seven T20 matches against Australia and play it immediately after Eid holidays in the UAE.

A source in the PCB said that Chairman Zaka Ashraf would also discuss the possibility of the series being held in India when he went to Chennai on Sunday to witness the final of the IPL on the invitation of the Indian cricket Board.

'The PCB is also serious about the possibility of the series being held in India and Ashraf will discuss this matter with Indian board officials as it could be a very cost effective series for the PCB keeping in mind the commercial market for cricket in India,' the source said.

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