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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

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 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 ....

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

its crazy to play any game forget cricket in august....its not cool at night...its hot and humid in the night also.....

Posted by Third_Gear on (June 21, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

Being a cricket love I am also concerned over this matter. As I have been in U.A.E during this season and I can suggest NO HUMAN BEING CAN PLAY CRICKET ALL DAY In THIS WEATHER n HEAT.

Posted by Sinhaya on (June 21, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

How about this. Play ODIs in India and the T20s in UAE.

Posted by Extraz on (June 21, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

@sandeep.M.J.D...our mediocre team won the asia cup and beat bangladesh twice,but ur great team got knocked out of asia cup by the minnows BD and also don't forgot the humilation u got in aus and eng 0-8!!!

Posted by amitgarg78 on (June 21, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Didn't we use to play in Sharjah in month of may? Wouldn't that be comparable? If I remember correct even Aussies hv played there in mid may in early 90s, so what's the fuss now? Or has it gotten hotter since?

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

When do cricketers in the UK play in temperatures -10C and lower? That's the middle of winter, when the country's covered in snow. We don't really get temperature extremes here either, despite what the press claim.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Just play in Australia lol ?

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

PCB shud chose any other venue bcoz iy is unbearably hot in PAK during daytime then wat to talk bout UAE.....but the series shud b played!!!!

Posted by keshav021 on (June 21, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

Its just an excuse... If ODI's starts at 5.. I don't see a problem when players are used to play in DARWIN at 50+ degrees. They want to prepare well for the upcoming T20 world cup and want to play more t20's

Posted by Meety on (June 21, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

@KiwiRocker- the games would not be played in Summer in Darwin, it would be winter time. It will NOT get to 50 degrees in August. In the period this series is being talked about, the max temp. will be between say 28 & 32. There is a reason why NO International cricket has beenplayed in UAE between June & Sept, - btw, it was PAKISTAN that originally wanted an all T20 series, which is a very practical decision. @myers74 - interesting points - excuse my ignorance, but would Ramadan apply to foreigners in an international sporting event????. If so - you are 100% right, matches cannot be played there during that event, (3weeks).

Posted by Stark62 on (June 21, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

Just play 5 T20's!!

Although, the temperature doesn't fall back as significantly but at least it is cool enough to play cricket at night.

Playing an ODI match in 52C will most likely cause a serious mental injury or perhaps even death.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Would be really unwise to play cricket in Dubai in August...I live here and i know how it is....u can't stay outdoors for long in the day..and playing would be a joke....imagine every 2 overs..someone fainting and dehydrating...ICC needs to show how wise it is....Consider places like Ireland,Malaysia or Canada instead....Would be a good change!

Posted by Hammond on (June 21, 2012, 10:07 GMT)


Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

Guess what, It ain't security its the mercury this time....Professionals are meant to play in whatever conditions they are asked to play... Just because, Pakistan is devoid of its home venue and holds a weak stance, doesn't mean that every board imposes its own conditions on PCB.!!

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (June 21, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

PopCorn: Your makes do not make much sense..same like your alias. Are you suggesting that series should be played in Darwin? Have you ever been there? Temperate in Darwin can get upto 50+(lived there). I also do not understand what the big fuss is about? Pakistani players are going to play in the same heat so what is special about Australian players? This is what is known as 'away series' that you play and adopt to alien conditions. Pakistani, Indian and SL players do not complain when they play in Dunedin's cold or when they play in Perth's hot weather so what is big fuss about Australian players? ACA is a non entity that no one really cares much. They should focus on their own business and stop making non sensical comments. As far as this series is concernd, if there are no logistical issues, PCB should consider there is a very fine cricket stadium there. As a long term option, PCB needs to plan using CHINA as their home ground as China has a huge cricketing potential!

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

Don't play ,if you dare just come and stand here in extreme heat ...It's unbearable hot here in Dubai .

Posted by Sandeep.M.J.D on (June 21, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

I prefer no play in UAE with such a mediocre team like Pakistan.

Posted by sivakumarpr on (June 21, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

It is absolutely wrong that in August 41 degrees in UAE????. I do live in UAE (Dubai) and you would have to be an absolute mad to play cricket here in August. When temperatures regularly exceed 50 degrees with 90% humidity which is unbearable at any time (day or night), you doesn't feel like even walking and how about playing in the scotching sun and terrible humidity. ICC and its members should use their best sense to judge.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 9:26 GMT)

How about having two back to back two t20 match series comprising three matches each, then ICC should also have no objection. One in Dubai, other in Abu Dhabi.

Posted by prashnottz on (June 21, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

I wonder how Asian teams cope up with extreme cold of UK and play in temperatures of sub 10-15 degrees which subcontinental players are not used to.

Posted by priceless1 on (June 21, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

This is sick, who can play cricket at that time of the year in UAE?

Posted by mohammedafif36 on (June 21, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

im from uae and i think its a great venue .

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

I don't understand this Aussie mindset of making lame excuses when it comes to playing Pakistan. I'm sure there wouldn't have been any issue if this series were to be played in India and against India because than there would have been a lot of money involved. I clearly remember that during the 2010 Ashes, temperatures were around 39 degrees in Perth and Adelaide but every Australian player was more than happy to be play in scorching heat throughout the day. So why there's a problem when they have to play a couple of hours in 41 degrees? Just to make a fuss out of nothing. They are professionals and playing in versatile conditions is a test of their skills so stop the moaning and get on with it.

Posted by azeesajid on (June 21, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

ICC should make sure that series must be played whether in the form of T20 or ODI's. It should not be canclled due to heat or any other reason.If still Australia refuses to play due to heat then ICC should take steps against CA>

Posted by AngryAngy on (June 21, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Sick of hearing about the ACA at the moment.

Posted by Meety on (June 21, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

@MrPud - words fail me on this occassion! == == == Everyone bagging the Players Ass'n for concerns about the heat - the fact is (assuming Coverdale is right) "...International cricket has never been played in the country in June, July, August or September..." There is always the fact that the recorded maximum temprature can be significantly different to what it is out on the ground - perhaps we need Tony Greig to go dust off the old player comfort guage that he used to wheel out during the old CUB tri-series 15/20 yrs ago????

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

I think that they should play at the Central Broward Regional Park in the United States. It had already hosted two T-20's between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in May 2010.

Posted by myers74 on (June 21, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

41 degrees is not the accurate temperature. I live here in the UAE and you would have to be an absolute nutjob to play cricket here then. When temperatures regularly exceed 50 degrees with 90% humidity you really have to question whether the "summer" sport, started in the UK in their "summer" is really suited to the desert. Sure the local workers play in the middle of the day for fun, however for professional athletes I do not think this is wise. Plus you have Ramadan for the first 3 weeks and people are not allowed to drink water or consume food during daylight hours. For safety the cricket should not start before 8pm so players can keep fluid levels up. Even if temperatures are 32 degrees at night (which they are here) it is not safe to play while you cannot drink fluids in public.

Posted by mensan on (June 21, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

I think 41 C max is not much. Usually the maximum is at 2 pm or so. By 5 pm, it cools down sufficiently to start an ODI. It can continue late at night.

As far I can remember, matches have been played at Adelaide, Brisbane, Durban, Cape Town, etc. in extreme heat (+- 40 C). So how come 41 C is problematic.

Posted by D-Ascendant on (June 21, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

Can we please have it in Malaysia? Then I can just pop over the border to catch the games!

Posted by Salmanchecking on (June 21, 2012, 7:22 GMT)


Posted by FAHMAZ on (June 21, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

1st test b/w IND and NZ starting from 23 August, the same dates as this series will be played. If they can play Test Cricket, then why not AUS can not play ODI,s in August, The temprature almost same in India as UAE. ??????????

Posted by popcorn on (June 21, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

Australia should ABSOLUTELY refuse to play in the extremely hot conditions of UAE. The aftermath will be debiltating and will hurt our preparations for the summer. I recall how our players were constantly administered Gatorade fluids during their tour to India, and the Team suffered. Why not Kuala Lumpur,or Darwin or Cairns?

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

Yeh 6 T2o whould be gre8 idea.....its will tell us howes future cricket series of T20 when possibly there will be no odis..........

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

we would like to see 6 T20s. expect a great contest

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 21, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

While I'm guessing that cricket has been played in Australia in temperatures like that on occasion, it would be quite rare. I'm interested to know how that compares to midsummer in SL. Presumably it's higher because SL was the original alternative because of the heat in UAE. I also wonder what the average temperature in the late afternoon would be, as the quoted numbers are presumably maximum temps. Drinks breaks every 15 minutes anyone?

Posted by hyclass on (June 21, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Its interesting that Cricket is a summer sport and that players regularly play in 35-40 degrees.We do live in the age of multiple team physios,ice-baths and isotonic drinks.Surely a proposal that includes extra drink breaks would suffice.Its not a Test series,that might be cause for concern. Three ODI's can surely be managed by a group of highly paid professionals under conditions which are not unusual for their chosen sport,with every advantage that cricket and sporting advancement has brought to 2012.I believe that they should play.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

C'mon Australia.......41 degrees is not that much....if you can play at 38 degree in Adelaide than what's theproblem also 5pm start means the sun will set within an hour.............

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

So after the "Significant Concerns" from ACA, Pakistan have only 1 option left 'Malaysia' but lets see what decision will be made.

Posted by anver777 on (June 21, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

Wherever it happens..... its gonna be a good close series !!!!

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

Why not play TWO T20 series of 3 matches each? The ICC should have no problem with that, I guess?

Posted by vivek1997 on (June 21, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

six t20s,it's utter nonsense , why just dont the icc limit t20s to domestic leagues and only play better forms of cricket odi's and tests . these formats only describes your skills , nonetheless 2 odi's and 1 t20 would be better .

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

professional cricketers worrying about Heat and summer ? :O

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

This is coming from Aussies, who live on one of the hottest continents in the world? Insane.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

if the Aussies can play Perth test at 49 C so why cant in UAE

Posted by Adnan143 on (June 21, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

but if the series is in India or IPL has some matches in UAE they will be OK with the idea

Posted by Meety on (June 21, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

The late start option for ODIs is probably not as bad an option as it sounds. A midnight (or later) finish may not be too harsh on the players given they would already be struggling a bit with acclimatising to the time zone. Of course the drawback would be for any one in the UAE (whoever they may be), who wants to watch the series in person. The later time slot may open up England & Saffa interest for television rights? == == == I do agree with Marsh - 6 T20s is a more common sense approach & the ICC should be flexible with scheduling whenever Pakistan is involved!

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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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