x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Concerns of Pakistan series in UAE ease off for Australians

Measures such as late start, venue changes and even ice baths have been adopted for the games to be played in the summer.

The Dubai International Cricket Stadium will not host the ODI matches because of less air flow in the summer heat.
The Dubai International Cricket Stadium will not host the ODI matches because of less air flow in the summer heat.

ABU DHABI // Australia are finally satisfied with arrangements ahead of their tour to the UAE to play Pakistan in a series of limited overs matches beginning at the end of this month.

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) has expressed repeated concerns about the high temperature and humidity at this time of the year and how that might affect their players from the moment it was decided the series would be staged here.

But once the series and itinerary were finalised, the ACA and Cricket Australia (CA) decided to send a four-official delegation to the UAE to assess conditions and examine measures to ease the effects of the climate on their players.

That three-day trip, completed two weeks ago, took the officials to venues in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. "As a result of the visit we are as comfortable as we can be with the arrangements," Paul Marsh, the ACA chief executive, told The National.

A number of measures were discussed on the trip, said Marsh, including the times the games will begin. The ODIs have been pushed back to begin later than normal, at 6pm and the T20s will begin at 8pm. Additionally, pregame training sessions will probably be held in the evening.

It was also decided then that the stadium in Dubai, relatively enclosed compared to the others in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and "with less air flow", according to Marsh, would not hold any ODIs. Instead, two ODIs will be played in Sharjah (as well as one between Australia and Afghanistan before the Pakistan series begins) and one in Abu Dhabi: the three T20s will be played in Dubai.

"Playing conditions will be discussed at the pre-tour meeting between captains and referee, but there is a general understanding that additional drinks breaks will be required to combat the extreme heat and humidity," Marsh said. There will also be greater availability of ice baths for the players.

Dilawar Mani, the outgoing chief executive of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), said that the assessments had gone well and without any glitches. "Everything is done," he told The National. "When their contingent came in we addressed whatever few concerns they had.

"Basically, the venues inspection was a routine check that happens ahead of most series and they are extremely happy with those.

"It was more a question of the climatic conditions and the discussions were based around providing extra ice baths, ice jackets, additional energy drinks and mineral waters."


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