x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE await decision on where the PCB will stage games

Ruling due bid to host Pakistan series against Australia as heat comes under scrutiny.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates- February, 21, 2012: Pakistan's captain Misbah Ul Haq plays a shot during the fourth and final One Day International match between Pakistan and England at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai. ( Satish Kumar / The National ) For Sports
Dubai, United Arab Emirates- February, 21, 2012: Pakistan's captain Misbah Ul Haq plays a shot during the fourth and final One Day International match between Pakistan and England at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai. ( Satish Kumar / The National ) For Sports

The UAE will discover within the next few days whether or not it will host top-flight international cricket this season after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) deferred a decision on Monday on where it stages its series against Australia in August.

Intikhab Alam, the PCB's director international operations, was in the UAE over the weekend to discuss ways to negotiate the heat and humidity at that time of the year in playing ODIs and T20s. Intikhab had flown in from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which is the other option Pakistan are exploring.

On Monday, Intikhab presented his findings to the PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf and though a decision had been expected, none was forthcoming. "We have looked at various aspects and had a detailed meeting over it," Intikhab said. "A decision will be made over the next two to three days."

Contrary to what was initially thought, it is believed that more than the weather the decision may come down to the comparative costs of hosting a series. In this case, given that the UAE has hosted Pakistan series regularly, Dilawar Mani, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive, believes they provide a cost-effective option.

But even if the series is not staged here ultimately, Mani is happy there is enough quality cricket to look forward to in the coming season. In October this year the Asian Cricket Council Elite cup will be held across the UAE. Then in March, the MCC and Combined Universities side will visit as they do annually.

Additionally, next season the World T20 qualifiers will again be held in the UAE (as they were this year) and there remains a strong possibility that Pakistan host South Africa here in October 2013. "We have still got quite a number of events and quite a busy season coming up," Mani said. "As well as the scheduled events, there are likely to be more coming up as we have become the first choice venues in a lot of instances for various ICC and ACC events.'"

There may also be good news for the UAE as far as the 2013 World T20 qualifiers are concerned. The side failed to make it to the qualifiers this year, but the ICC is considering a request by the ECB to consider giving the UAE a wild-card entry for 2013 as the home side. That means, potentially, the UAE could qualify to play in the World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014.

 

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE and Osman Samiuddin @OsmanSamiuddin