PCB Chairman Najam Sethi    AFP
PCB Chairman Najam Sethi AFP

Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board chief Najam Sethi has said that he is exploring alternate venues for hosting the national team’s home series outside the UAE and Malaysia is one option. Talking to the media, Sethi said that with reports of more leagues to be held in the UAE emerging, it would not be possible for Pakistan to continue playing in Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi. We have started looking at alternate venues for our home and PSL matches and I am going in March to Malaysia to see the grounds and facilities there and if everything works out well then obviously we see Malaysia as a venue which can host our international home series and the PSL as well, he said.

The PCB reportedly is not happy that the Emirates Cricket Board has given permission for the Afghanistan Cricket Board to launch its T20 league in Dubai and Sharjah. There are also plans to hold another edition of the T10 league in the UAE this year. Since 2010, Pakistan has virtually made UAE as its home venue after foreign teams refused to tour the country because of security concerns following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

Since 2010, Pakistan has not only hosted all its international home matches in UAE but also launched its PSL brand in Dubai two years ago. Sethi said Pakistan was also looking at other countries as alternate venues for its matches but Malaysia was the top pick. He said this was because Malaysia had hosted ICC events and the PCB would cut down its costs by half if it is able to host its international home series or PSL in Malaysia.

He noted that the PCB had not been able to make major profits from its home series since 2010 because of the costs involved in hosting and organising matches in the UAE.