Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, will return to the Emirates on Monday to finalise plans to hold the series against New Zealand. Pakistan had to shift their home series against the Black Caps and it was decided to hold the Tests in New Zealand later this year. For the one-dayers and Twenty20 internationals, Pakistan are in talks with neutral venues but are keen to host them in the UAE.
Butt said yesterday that a stumbling block was the fee Dubai Sports City were asking to host the matches - which he said was $3million (Dh11m). The deal should be concluded soon as Ten Sports, the broadcaster, said yesterday they had agreed to screen the matches in October. "The contract is in place to televise the series, consisting of four one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games," said a source at Taj TV, owners of Ten Sports.
"All games will be played in late October and be split between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The fixtures and venues for each game have yet to be finalised." Meanwhile, England were left contemplating whether they should continue to play football as part of their warm-up exercise before any match after batsman Joe Denly suffered an injury on the eve of the first one-day international today. Denly, who made his debut in the first Twenty20 on Sunday, had to be carried off the Oval pitch after a tackle from Owais Shah left him on crutches with an injured knee.
Andrew Strauss, who took a short break after the Ashes Tests, is back as captain. * With agencies