x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE talks with Pakistan Cricket Board enter the final straight

Heat and humidity are two of the issues the Pakistan Cricket Board have brought up with the Emirates Cricket Board as the two work out details of Pakistan hosting Australia in the UAE.

The Pakistan cricket team are in line to return to the UAE to host Australia in late August.
The Pakistan cricket team are in line to return to the UAE to host Australia in late August.

A committee from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will begin a series of meetings on Thursday with cricket officials from the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to finalise details of a limited-overs series in August between Pakistan and Australia in the UAE.

The interactions will run over three days and are expected to take in logistical details such as which venues will be utilised during the six-game tour and what times the game should begin, given the heat and humidity of late August.

The tour itinerary will also be inked out during the meetings; the matches will begin after Ramadan, most likely around August 22.

Though the PCB is yet to announce officially that the series will be held in the UAE, in principle the decision was taken last week.

However, the board had revealed that the series will consist of three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s, quashing speculation that the heat and likely late starts could lead to a first-ever bilateral five-match T20 series.

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia had been the other venue in consideration after Sri Lanka pulled out as an option because the series clashed with the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League.

But after a tour of the facilities, Intikhab Alam, the PCB's director of international operations, reported that Kuala Lumpur may not be ready to host an international series.

As well as the likelihood of rain posing the threat of disruption, the PCB said the stadiums there needed more infrastructural work, particularly in terms of requiring additional seating and electronic scoreboards.

For the UAE the series represents an unexpected boost to the cricket calendar for the season.

Though there is expected to be the usual amount of local cricket with a fair sprinkling of regional and associate-level commitments, and visits by the MCC as well as a universities side from the UK, nothing until the 2013/14 season will be as high profile as this series.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

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