x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UAE offer to host Pakistan v India series

The UAE has offered to host the Test series between Pakistan and India in January should the Indian authorities cancel over security concerns.

Indian authorities fear that Pakistan may not have sufficient security for their players. The government has already cancelled a hockey tour to the country.
Indian authorities fear that Pakistan may not have sufficient security for their players. The government has already cancelled a hockey tour to the country.

KARACHI // The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will consider shifting next year's series against India to England or the UAE if the Indian government does not clear the tour over security worries, a senior official said. The CEO Salim Altaf said that the PCB has recieved offers from the English Cricket Board and organisers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to stage the series scheduled from the first week of January.

"But our first priority remains to convince India and other foreign teams to fulfil their obligation of touring Pakistan and supporting Pakistan cricket. "But in extreme conditions, if India have security concerns, we don't rule out options of shifting our home series to offshore and neutral venues," Altaf said. Doubts have emerged over India's tour to play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 game after the Indian government stopped a junior hockey team from touring Pakistan at the last moment on Monday over security concerns.

The Indian cricket board is awaiting government clearance. "The Pakistan board as a policy wants teams to tour Pakistan but at same time need to generate funds and can't afford to become an isolated cricket nation," Altaf added. Pakistan cricket has suffered heavily this year due to the refusal of teams and players to tour following a series of suicide bombings in the past one year. In August, the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the Champions Trophy after facing a possible boycott from five of the eight teams taking part.

It rescheduled the event from Sept 24 to Oct 5 next year at a single city but said it would monitor the Indian tour before taking a final decision on the location. Some officials fear a suicide bomb attack in Peshawar on Tuesday outside a stadium hosting a sports event would make it more difficult for Pakistan to convince teams to tour. Dilawar Mani, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi cricket council, told Geo News they were ready to stage the series for free if required.

*Reuters