x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Pakistan will return to UAE for series

Four one-day and two Twenty20 games against New Zealand will be staged in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

International cricket will return to the country later this year after the chief operating officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Salim Altaf, said last night a one-day series between his country and New Zealand would be held in the Emirates. Four one-day and two Twenty20 games are scheduled to be held here in late October or early November.

"We have split the series into two parts," said Altaf. The matches, which are likely to be held at Dubai Sports City and the capital's Zayed Cricket Stadium, will precede a Test series which will be switched to New Zealand in December. No one at the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) was available for comment last night. The ECB are hoping to play in the first two weeks of November rather than the original dates of October.

Pakistan wanted to have the full series in New Zealand since it was logistically ideal for them to move on to Australia where they play the Kangaroos next in December. Having the matches in New Zealand would mean a clash of television rights holders. Ten Sports have the rights for Pakistan matches while Sky New Zealand control all games played in their country. Pakistan have been unable to host international cricket since March, when gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore as they travelled to a game.

Pakistan have played against West Indies and Australia in the Emirates as touring teams were unwilling to go to Pakistan. lthornhill@thenational.ae kshyam@thenational.ae