Malaysia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are among the countries Pakistan are considering as options to host their limited-overs series against Australia in August. The series was set to be held in Sri Lanka, but SLC pulled out last week due to a clash in the series schedule with the first season of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL). The PCB said that a final decision on the venue will be taken within a week.
“It was indeed a setback to our plans when Sri Lanka pulled out,” Intikhab Alam, PCB director international cricket, told reporters in Lahore. “But they have their own reasons and we have no problem with it however and have been searching for alternatives. Malaysia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are the options we have marked. A decision will be taken within next one week.”
In March this year, the SLC had agreed in principle to host the series. At that time, there had been no decision on the SLPL. The proposed first season of the league had been cancelled last year and it was only earlier this month that a new deal was signed by the Sri Lanka board to hold the SLPL this August.
Pakistan and Australia are due to play five ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals against each other. The original plan was to play just one Twenty20, but with the World T20 immediately after the series, the countries’ boards have agreed to play two extra matches.
Pakistan have had to play their home series in neutral venues since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009. While the United Arab Emirates has been Pakistan’s usual “home” venue since then, the venue was ruled out due to the extreme heat and the month of Ramzan.
Pakistan’s last home series against Australia was played in England, in the summer of 2010, after which they have hosted all their home series, including one against Sri Lanka and England, in the UAE.
Malaysia last hosted an international series in 2006, when India, Australia and West Indies played a tri-series in Kuala Lumpur.
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