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Australian party give DSC the OK

Cricket Australia officials had their first glimpse of the Dubai Sports City (DSC), the venue for two of their country's five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match against Pakistan next month.

Cricket Australia officials had their first glimpse of the Dubai Sports City (DSC) yesterday, the venue for two of their country's five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match against Pakistan next month. The visit came a day after the officials inspected the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi where the other three one-day games will be played.

Malcolm Thorpe, the DSC spokesman, said the four-member team were impressed with the facilities at the new stadium, which is getting its finishing touches. The two-hour visit came in the wake of security concerns after the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, Pakistan. However, Thorpe said the Australian officials were expected to arrive anyway as they were yet to see the new infrastructure. "They had not seen the ground and it was standard procedure to do a recce and inspect the facilities ahead of the tour," he said. "They were happy with the playing square and inspected all the entrances and umpire and player areas. They also talked to a representative from the Dubai police."

Pakistan's representatives, Zakir Khan, the board director of operations, and Aquib Javed, the team's bowling coach, have already seen the stadium as Pakistan played West Indies in the UAE in November last year. Mohammed Naeem, the Pakistan Cricket Board treasurer, was also part of the touring party and it is believed that he is here to work out the marketing and administrative aspects of the series.

Pakistan is the host country even though the series will be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from April 22 to May 8, and Thorpe said: "We will be happy to provide any help in marketing the event any way we can." kshyam@thenational.ae

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