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'Significant concerns' over UAE one-day plan

Brydon Coverdale

June 21, 2012

Comments: 57 | Text size: A | A

Brett Lee celebrates an early wicket, West Indies v Australia, 1st Twenty20, St Lucia
Australia's players are waiting for final confirmation of their limited-overs schedule against Pakistan © AFP
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Australia's cricketers will have "significant concerns" if they are asked to play one-day internationals against Pakistan in the extreme heat of the UAE in August. The format and location of the series has not been officially confirmed, but the UAE is believed to be Pakistan's favoured venue and the PCB director for international operations, Intikhab Alam, said last week three ODIs and three Twenty20s were likely to be played.

But August is one of the hottest months in the UAE; in Dubai, for example, the average daily high temperature during the month is 41.3C. International cricket has never been played in the country in June, July, August or September, and while the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) is open to the idea of its players being asked to play Twenty20s, because the matches could start later and avoid the daytime heat, 50-over games are the major worry.

"How wise is it to be going to a region that you know is going to get up to 45-plus at that time of year?" Paul Marsh, the ACA chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo. "That's extreme heat. It's also very humid. It's of significant concern for us at the moment. The health and safety of the players needs to be at the forefront of any decision that is made."

The PCB was believed to have abandoned their plans for a Twenty20-only series, which would have mitigated the weather issue, but Marsh said his understanding was that permission was still being sought from the ICC to stage a six-match T20 series. According to ICC rules, the maximum length of a bilateral T20 series is three games, and while national boards can make proposals for longer series they cannot be played without ICC approval.

"The common-sense approach would be that six Twenty20s is going to be better than three of each because of the weather conditions," Marsh said. "We would rather see them play six Twenty20s if they have to play in the UAE because they could start later and it takes less time. But we have to wait and see what the ICC says.

"If the decision is they can't play six Twenty20s then you're faced with the question of what do you do? I'm not an expert on heat but we'll look at it from an occupational health and safety perspective. We have concerns about the health and safety of our players if they were to have to play 50-over games in those conditions."

A possible starting time of 5pm or 5.30pm has been floated for any ODIs played during the series, which would mean the matches could finish after midnight. However, Marsh said the ACA's preference remained for the series to be composed entirely of T20s.

"Five o'clock is still going to be pretty warm," he said. "At least with a T20 you could start it at eight or nine o'clock and finish at 11 or midnight and then you'd be getting out of the heat of the day. A three-hour game versus an eight-hour game is obviously the issue."

Cricket Australia also has concerns about the weather in the UAE during August. James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said last week that if the UAE was confirmed as Pakistan's preferred venue the boards would need to do everything possible to reduce the players' exposure to the extreme heat.

"It's a time of year when it is very hot and humid in the UAE," Sutherland said last Friday. "It will be hot for our players and it will be hot for their players. We would expect both countries would have concerns about that and would be doing everything they can to minimise that effect."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (June 22, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

sense should prevail choose another venue.........its ramzan as well during that time....

Posted by Timmuh on (June 22, 2012, 4:07 GMT)

The pure temperature is presumably not the issue, games have been played in Adelaide and Perth well over 40 celsius. The heat combined with humidity is presumably the problem. Unless truly accustomed, high humidity makes for a much more deblitating atmosphere than the same temperatures in a dry het. The ability of sweat and evaporation to carry away excess body heat does not exist, which can cause more sweating and much quicker dehydration than the same temperature in drier air. Personally I don't believe the series should be going ahead anywhere; the same for Aus tour of England; without Test matches attached.

Posted by asim229 on (June 21, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

Delay the series for two months.

Posted by getsetgopk on (June 21, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

Agree with kiwirocker's assessment, cricket in the near future is not returning to pakistan, PCB would only be wise if they plan for a long term solution, China is perfect in terms of logistics, Beining (been there many times) only five an half hours flight from Islamabad, climate wise its perfect hot in summers but not that hot like in SL, India or Pakistan, pretty mild weather all year round, has a huge population of Pakistanis living and working there as well especially in southern china, cities like Guangzhou, ShenZhen, Shanghai, facilities can be as good as anywhere. Cricket will benefit from chinese involment in the sport as well, its about time they move from Ping Pong and Badminton.

Posted by Omarrz on (June 21, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

UAE is the best place to be considered as a home ground for Pakistan. UAE truly supports the home advantage both in terms of crowd and pitch. So Pakistan should not take this series to anywhere else.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

aussies are scared of suffering the same fate as the english...ie WHITEWASH.

Posted by Sinhaya on (June 21, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

@Sandeep.M.J.D, Pakistan is no mediocre side to beat the number 1 test team England 3-0! Where were you then? Pakistan are the last team to beat England in a test match in England too which happened at the Oval in 2010. Check your facts before posting here.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

I am a Pakistani and I feel people in Pakistan are losing interest in cricket; nobody gives a damn where they play, they will lose that series anyway z.

Go Miami Heat !!!

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (June 21, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

ICC should allow 5 T2020 matches which can start late in the evening. You cannot play cricket in 45c temperature in UAE, period. ICC needs to think about it.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

I dont see this series going to be happen ....

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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