PCB chief proposes tri-series involving India and England

Zaka Ashraf (c) feels that the series would be a success in England due to the presence of the big Pakistan and Indian population in the UK

Karachi: Feb 3, 2012

PCB chief Zaka Ashraf has proposed that the England and Wales Cricket Board hosts a one-day tri-series involving Pakistan and India next year, during the recent ICC executive board meeting held in Dubai.

A board official said during the ICC meeting, Ashraf had held informal talks with heads of the other boards, including England and India and proposed that England can host a tri-series next year involving Pakistan and India.

“Ashraf’s contention is that the series would be a success in England due to the presence of the big Pakistani and Indian population in the United Kingdom and Europe and secondly it would also pave the way for proper restoration of bilateral ties between Pakistan and India soon,” the source added.

During the meeting, the President of the South African cricket board also made an offer to host an ODI series between Pakistan and Australia.

“The South African cricket head assured his Pakistani counterpart that Pakistan would incur less expenses compared to if it decided to organise the series at some other neutral venue including UAE,” one board official said.

He said while the PCB was keen to get international teams to start touring Pakistan again but was aware of the fact that it might be forced to play the one-day series against Australia once again at a neutral venue.

“Since it would be the month of fasting and the weather will be hot during July-August in the UAE that is why Pakistan is looking at other alternate neutral venues as well,” he said.

Pakistan has been forced to play all its “home” series at neutral venues since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding some of the visiting players.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi since 2009 have become virtual home grounds for Pakistan which is currently also playing its “home” series against England at these two venues.

The PCB chief said he had assured his South African counterpart that he would get back to them after consulting his board members regarding the proposal.

“South Africa is a viable neutral venue for us because of many factors but once I get back to Pakistan we will discuss this proposal further and see how it goes. We also have to consult the Australians about this,” he added.

One source said that since the World T20 Cup would also be held in September in Sri Lanka, the Pakistan and Australian boards are looking at increasing the number of T20 matches in the coming series which presently includes five one-day internationals and a two T20 matches.

South Africa has in the past hosted an edition of the Indian Premier League with success.(PTI)