ICC news

Pakistan-Australia six-match T20 series approved

Brydon Coverdale

June 25, 2012

Comments: 92 | Text size: A | A

Umar Gul successfully appeals for an lbw against Shane Watson, Pakistan v Australia, only Twenty20 international, Dubai, May 7, 2009
Australia and Pakistan could meet in the longest T20 series ever played between two sides © Associated Press
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The ICC has approved a six-match Twenty20 series between Pakistan and Australia, which, if it goes ahead will be the longest bilateral T20 series ever staged by international sides. The decision has improved chances of the series being staged, most likely in the period between August 22 and September 10.

The PCB had deployed a four-man team, including officials from its finance and legal departments, to examine the possibility of staging a series in the UAE. It was originally keen to lock in a series of three T20s and three ODIs in August, but the extreme heat at that time of year raised serious concerns from Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association.

The ICC has a rule limiting the number of matches in a bilateral T20 series to three, but countries can ask for special dispensation to hold a longer series in exceptional circumstances. The PCB's struggle to find a suitable venue for an ODI series in August prompted the proposal for a six-match T20 series.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) requested support for the flexibility to stage a six-match Twenty20 International series against Australia potentially in the United Arab Emirates in August," the ICC said in a statement. "This request required a special dispensation from the CEC and then the ICC Board as the current regulation permits only three T20I in a series.

"Because of the extreme daytime heat in the UAE at that time of the year, the CEC raised no objections to the principle of a six-match T20I series replacing the scheduled series of three ODIs and three T20Is should the PCB elect to make that switch."

A PCB official told ESPNcricinfo: "The ICC's approval has made things easier for us. There were many issues apart from the weather but now we can move in one direction and will announce our decision shortly."

A Cricket Australia spokesman said on Monday afternoon CA was still waiting for further details of the series from the PCB. Paul Marsh, the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers' Association, said the ICC's decision was sensible given the extreme heat that players would be forced to play in if 50-over games were scheduled, while T20s could start in relatively cooler conditions later at night.

"It's a good commonsense decision given the circumstances," Marsh told ESPNcricinfo. "It's not a perfect situation playing in the UAE at that time of year but we understand the limitations of not being able to play in Pakistan, so it's a good compromise given the circumstances."

A number of three-match T20 series have been held between international sides in the past, but never have four or more games been approved by the ICC.

The six games will provide an excellent opportunity for both sides to finalise their preparations for the ICC World T20, which takes place in Sri Lanka in September.

(Additional reporting by Umar Farooq in Lahore)

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

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Posted by ExplicitPlatinum on (June 27, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

People asking for Asad Shafiq and Khalid Latif in the T20 squad? These two are blockers! In fact, Asad is a talented batsmen, but mostly considered for the Test format (ODI's, his a bit iffy). I would like Abdul Razzaq to be back in the squad again, but his bowling remains to be a concern. He lacks the venom in his bowling which he had back when he was younger, although, his batting is crucial in the lower order. Once again, I am persisting with the fact of Shahid Afridi opening the batting ONLY when Pak chases targets. Afridi could have been the same as Sehwag, Gayle and Watson if he opens. He can allow Pak batsmen to settle in much better, as Hafeez blocks out 5-8 overs and then holes out for another duck. My dream team for the T20's 1.) Imran Nazir 2.) Shahid Afridi (C) 3.) Ahmed Shehzad 4.) Umar Akmal 5.) Haris Sohail 6.) Mohammad Hafeez 7.) Abdul Razzaq/Hammad Azam 8.) Sohail Tanvir 9.) Yasir Arafat 10.) Umar Gul 11.) Saeed Ajmal

Posted by kristee on (June 27, 2012, 1:22 GMT)

More T20's and less ODI's. That looks good. If the former is nonsense, the latter too is. The former at least is less dull. The latter format has to be either phased out or rendered minimal.

Posted by bishkekrawalpindi on (June 26, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

@Abdul Rehman shuv, Pakistan was never in a position to force anyone to do anything, A deal was struck between the 2 boards, the Bangladesh board could not hold up their end of the deal because of the circumstances we understand that, yet Pakistan has done nothing, the relations between the boards have not suffered at all, Pakistan is a weak board now, weaker then Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. The weakest permanent member of icc

Posted by SwingReverse on (June 26, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

6 games is a good idea actually! Pakistan should take two teams and try out a rotation policy to give youngsters a chance. We have nothing to lose here, so let's try new talents

Posted by applethief on (June 26, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

I can't believe that things have got so dire for Pakistan that people here are calling for the return of Kamran Akmal. Come on guys, forget about his ability with the bat or his occasional performances behind the wicket - the guy doesn't have his heart in the Pakistan team, and for that reason alone, he should never be let back in the side. Just look at what he did last time they toured Aus, and how his woeful keeping has forced bowlers to change line and consequently ruined their performances. There is no place for Kamran in the side - I'd take a mediocre batsman like Sarfraz over him any time

Posted by applethief on (June 26, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

*sigh*... the "it's too hot" rationale isn't a good enough reason to bore us with 6 T20s. If anything, these sides should be made to play all 6 games over 2 days to get them out of the way with, and try out new players. "Preparation for the "WCT20" is no good either, every single match will be a wildcard, as T20Is inevitably are. What a wasted opportunity to try out a day/night test at a neutral venue.

Posted by 9ST9 on (June 26, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

isn't this gonna be a bit boring? 6 T20's at least they could have gotten a 3rd team to make it a triangular and a little bit more exiting.

Posted by   on (June 26, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

Dream Team For T20 Series

1) Shahid Afridi 2) Imran Nazir 3) Ahmed Shahzad / Nasir Jamshaid 4) Mohammad Hafeez 5) Umar Akmal / Asad Shafiq 6) Abdul Razaq 7) Kamran Akmal 8) Hammad Azam 9) Sohail Tanvir 10) Umar Gul 11) Saeed Ajmal

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (June 26, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

Another nail in the coffin of Test Cricket.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (June 26, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

What's the fuss? It's the perfect practice before the T20 World Cup.

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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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