Pakistan v Australia 2014

Pakistan-Australia Test series set to be downsized

Daniel Brettig

January 14, 2014

Comments: 198 | Text size: A | A
Chappell: Two-Test series not worth it

Australia's Test series against Pakistan in October this year will be downsized to the minimum two matches, while the venue for the encounter is expected to be confirmed as the UAE.

Despite the ICC Future Tours Programme dictating that the tour would consist of three Tests, the PCB has negotiated for the removal of one five-day match to be replaced by a series of limited-overs matches, likely to include three ODIs and a Twenty20 fixture.

While the location of these matches is yet to be finalised, the loss of a Test from the fixture list is certain. This schedule is expected to bring in a more lucrative broadcast fee for the cash-pressured governing body of cricket in Pakistan, forced to subsist on series played in neutral venues since the terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009.

"Our expectation will be that it will be in the UAE, and my expectation is that it won't be three Test matches, it will probably be two Test matches and a combination of one-dayers," James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, told ABC Radio during the Sydney Ashes Test. "Perhaps with a view to the fact there's a World Cup here in Australia and New Zealand in February and March 2015.

"It's the hosts' call on that and we'll work as closely as we can with them, there's a reciprocal arrangement, we wouldn't like to be playing a series of less than three but that's their choice how they balance that, and at the end of the day, Pakistan are not able to host international cricket in Pakistan, their commercial viability is really affected by that, so we respect their position and the decisions they need to make there."

Apart from the UAE, the only other plausible venue for a Test match is Qatar, where the PCB is presently hosting a women's tournament. However stadium facilities and infrastructure in the nation set to host the next football World Cup are not as advanced or varied as those in the UAE, with Dubai host to the ICC's headquarters and global cricket academy.

The most recent encounter between the two nations was also played over just two Tests, the "MCC Spirit of Cricket" series which took place in England in the northern summer of 2010 and was split 1-1 when Pakistan won at Headingley after Australia's victory at Lord's. While CA have spoken consistently of their desire for Test bouts of at least three matches' duration, their own schedule is increasingly light on such series.


Michael Clarke helped Australia out of a hole in a fighting third-wicket partnership with Ricky Ponting, Pakistan v Australia, 2nd Test, Headingley, July 22, 2010
Australia and Pakistan have not met in Tests since the 2010 series in England © AFP
Enlarge

Apart from blue-chip contests against England (five Tests) and India (four), Australia have played two-Test series against New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa in recent times. Their next visit to the West Indies in May 2015 is also scheduled to include the bare minimum two Tests.

"The programme is a real challenge, there's no doubt for us as administrators it is one of the most difficult things we do and we often talk about it in the context of being a three-dimensional game of chess," Sutherland said. "Unlike other sporting codes we don't have a unilateral ability to work out what our programme might be, we have to see what's going on in other parts of the world, what country is playing where and how. And we need to work out the international programme and then work out the best we can from the domestic programme."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

the fact that pakistan are not playing any tests in the next 9 months is ridiculous. As a supporter i cant wait to watch my team play test cricket and especially after the result today against SL. I dont blame the board either, whats all this stupid situation about india, england and australia running the show. The last time pakistan played england they thrashed them in tests. and beat india and done well agaainst australia too. Pakistan are right to change the 3rd test to ODIs as they want to play ODIs against the good teams before the world cup year. SO why are some pakistanis hating on the PCB?? its the so called big 3 that are ruining Cricket. and i say so called because South Africa is the best team right now.

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (January 17, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

National boards are voting with their feet on Test cricket. If the ICC and the leading board (yes, this means the Big Men in the Sky Boxes of the BCCI) do not come up with a really solid plan for financing Tests to make them competitive with one day forms, then Tests really will fade away into the background.

Posted by SlipsGlance on (January 16, 2014, 5:07 GMT)

@dunger.bob, there's are always countries that have an effective veto over scheduling (e.g. India now, Australia and England in the past). I can't see them handing over the machine that prints the money to a supposedly neutral middle-man.

Also, I hate the recent history of meaningless 2- and 3-Test series between Aus and SA. 1-0, 1-1, so what? It proves nothing. What if we had a 3-series cycle over the decade featuring one 5-Test series in Australia, one 5-Test series in SA, and one series of 3 Tests in each country.

In the years when we play a Boxing Day Test in SA, Melbourne could get a heavily hyped Australia Day Test. It would give the latte-sipping PR drones at CA something to do in between grooming their ponytails and apologizing for the latest social media gaffe.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:59 GMT)

@Dave brown where you are Ajmal the world best spinner is with Pakistan. Australia never produce this type of bowler's.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:51 GMT)

Replacing a TEST match with limited overs, no matter how dire financial straits you are in, leads me to the conclusion that the PCB has been led by many numskulls in its time but THIS administration simply takes the cake! I am totally disgusted with the way cricket is run in my country. Considering we win any matches at all with this dysfunctional board, convinces me that we must have the most uncanny talent in the world! Non-Pakistanis, all I can say is, not all of us are blind to what real cricket is, despite our board's best attempts to make us look like frivolous fans of hit and run!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

ICC should standardize the series program as 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20s and possibly adding a couple of three dayers. This way there would be some sort of balance in International calendar. Also it should be mandatory for each test playing nation to include one tour of an associate member.

Posted by David_Bofinger on (January 15, 2014, 11:45 GMT)

I'd rather have four series against different teams, each of two or three tests, than I would ten tests consecutively against England. It's the number of tests and the days of cricket that matter, not how many in a row against someone in particular. In this case we've lost a test and gained some one day matches, well, that might be good or bad according to your taste but certainly worse things happen in cricket. There's nothing here that seems worth getting upset about.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 15, 2014, 11:40 GMT)

I am tired of vsing the same teams all the time.. South Africa, England, India... every year.. but we never vs. Pakistan. There should be more than 2 Tests in 3-4 years between these two nations.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 15, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

@ IndCricFan2013: I like your idea, but I'd change one thing. I think there needs to be some sort of middle man to sort out conflicts. The problem is, the ICC doesn't seem to have the teeth to enforce a ruling, so I'm not sure how conflict resolution would work. Good will and fellowship would make the way easier but that's in relative short supply and only goes so far anyway.

For an example, take Australia and South Africa. We would both say we'll play a Test on Boxing day. The problem is WHERE do you play it. Australia won't budge from the MCG and the South Africans won't budge from their home venue either. As it stands at the moment, Aus and SA will never play each other in Boxing Day test. Ever. On it's own that's more of an annoyance than a real problem but I reckon there would be heaps of similar issues all over the place. .. We need a policeman of sorts. Someone to enforce the rules and make the really hard decisions. .. Sadly, it's not the ICC.

Posted by Asad_Khan1 on (January 15, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

@jasonblake You said that Pak has lost 9 times on the trot to Australia which is wrong. You cleverly missed the last series played between these two in 2010 in England which was drawn 1-1. Pakistan lost 9 matches on the trot to the great Australian team of 1999-2009. You should also live in 2014 and stop dreaming only about whitewashes after beating only England at home. You whitewash SA too at their home then we will talk.

Posted by highveldhillbilly on (January 15, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

"...Despite the ICC Future Tours Programme dictating ..." Aaaaah there's the problem, the ICC Futures Tours isn't worth the paper it's written on and they have no way of enforcing it. As the BCCI showed with the SA tour, the futures tour is an invitation you can accept or decline to follow it.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

It might be better just to schedule one off Tests in a world annual league. This would be more interesting to spectators and tv sponsors, and more practical to schedule. I don''t understand all the talk why at least three tests are needed to decide who is the best of the two playing teams. Most other sports take less than two hours. Are cricket fans thick?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

Another sad day for Test cricket. And Padmarley, The Ashes is the pinnacle for everyone in England and almost everyone in Australia - no-one here gives a stuff about ODI's and certainly not when anyone else is paying them...there were two Ashes series because that was what was agreed between them. If Pakistan want to agree a garbage schedule for some TV money that's up to them. For anyone not living in Pakistan or Australia, we really don't care at all...

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 15, 2014, 9:20 GMT)

@Assertive-Indian:So Pakistan's recent form in test matches is the reason why PCB going for such tactic?It's not like that.PCB simply want to give more practice to Pak team before WC..

Posted by sandeep33 on (January 15, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

no one will risk their lif by playing test in pakistan.,thats d reasn pakistan coudnt face big teams for the recent years,

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

Ahhh Plz PCB try to play as many test matches as u can!! Test match is the only format thru wch we can improve our cricket!! bad decision...

Posted by Assertive-Indian on (January 15, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

Asadkhan1: So last time Pakistan defeated England in England in a test series was way back in 1996, when Pak still had some great players. Since then they have never won. Compare that to India who defeated England in England in tests in 2007. I had also mentioned that India defeated WI in WI in tests three times: 1971, 2006, 2011. How many times have Pak done it? The fact is that Pakistan as a test team has truly declined in last decade or so, even though it continues to be a good ODI and T20 team. Therefore, PCB is right in trying to get more ODI/T20 matches and less Test Matches.

Posted by PadMarley on (January 15, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

Isn't this sickening that two sides of the world play 10 test matches with each other within just 6 months period [call it Ashes or whatever, rest of the world don't give a damn!!], and they cut down tests for other nations??

Posted by Fijicricket on (January 15, 2014, 6:06 GMT)

@Posted by Asad_Khan1 on (January 14, 2014, 20:39 GMT) Who cares who won in the nineties. This is 2014. Get a grip. grow up. Enough said!!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

@tanmaymore87

The reason Australia doesn't play a full tour of India is because the have a contract between the two boards to play each other once every year in a ODI series or a Test Series, this has been happening since 2003-04 because that was when the contract was first arranged.

As India cannot come to Australia every year to play (due to Cricket being a summer sport in Australia and played from October - March) Which is Indias domestic season and India's peak season for cricket too, Australia go to India to play once a year, unless its the season India comes down to Australia.

Posted by tanmaymore87 on (January 15, 2014, 3:42 GMT)

i dont understand why Australia never play a full tour....when India tours Australia they have to play 4 tests, 2 T20s & 8-11 ODIs....but when Aussies tour India they play 4 tests & leave....to come & play the ODI series in the next season...its happening since 2003-4 season....again when Australia is touring UAE to play Pakistan they have to play a full tour - 3 tests, 5 ODIs & 1 T20I...

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 3:36 GMT)

You choose to promote T20 over Test cricket for quick monetary gains, you kill cricket altogether. Mark my words, as popular as this new format might be fast becoming it will die equally fast. It's like the soccer gurus reducing the length of the field and increasing the width of the goals to make the game faster and result in higher scores...so that soccer can compete against basketball, ice-hockey etc.

Soccer, tennis and even baseball has been there for ages. There's a reason why some of us like cricket, and in many countries it 's been growing faster

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 3:35 GMT)

Very short tour........!

Posted by Desihungama on (January 15, 2014, 3:16 GMT)

O' C'mon Guys! For One, Pakistan is cash severely strapped and secondly there is no International Cricket back at home. Thanks to the WOT. And third, This is UAE. Okay. Not Pakistan where people have the luxury of time to come to stadiums. Everyone is an expat in UAE working hard and get days off to only fly back home and not to watch a Test match. However, the expats from Western countries have all the luxuries available to them and are most welcome to throng the stadiums since 90,000 people turn up to watch Australia vs England because they all love Test Cricket. Get Real.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 2:46 GMT)

Sometimes it's unfair to say Test Cricket is not well received in India. Cricket centres with rich cricket tradition (Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi) still manage full houses for test matches. Recent tests in these centers have had at least 1 day of full house crowds. But modern cricket centres like Hyd, Mohali, Ahmedabad et al have been disappointing with their crowd turn up for tests. Perhaps test cricket in India should be scheduled only in venues which encourage test cricket.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 1:49 GMT)

In understand the rationale behind reducing the test series to 2 matches but this is deterimental in the long run, Pakistan in particular need their team to be exposed to strong teams such as Australia, South Africa, India, England and Srilanka. Would have loved to see a 3 or longer testt series. Till things improve in Pakistan it will be tough to financially justify long test series, day night tests can provide some relief as well.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 1:45 GMT)

that's ridiculous, ICC and Cricket Australia should force Pakistan to play 3 Test series, Cricket in Pakistan is on a decline and if they don't play test cricket enough, sooner or later Cricket will lose another important competent nation just like West Indies

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

@speng... Really only Tests in England draw decent crowds?? There was over 91,000 people at the MCG in Australia just a few weeks ago and over 78,000 on day two

Posted by that_guy on (January 15, 2014, 1:06 GMT)

Test matches need to limited to the top 4 ODI teams, ODIs need to be limited to the top 7 T20 teams with a yearly relegation type system

Posted by Sol09 on (January 15, 2014, 0:06 GMT)

I fully agree with everything Speng says. He is quite right about tests being relegated to the past because the money and excitement lies with the shorter formats. Only die hard tests fans want to sit for 5 days; no one else does - especially the kids of today. Besides, how can we interest countries (where the main game is soccer and around lasts 90 minutes) in playing/watching a game that lasts 5 days and could even end in a draw !! It is only with games like T20 that cricket can hope to become an international/Olympic sport.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 23:55 GMT)

wow its ridiculous instead 3 test match series PCB should go for 5 test match series and they are reducing it to 2 its miserable and it will never improve standard of pak cricket .i think PCB doesn't want to play ICC Test championship by reducing number of test matches because Pak can not qualify with out winning against top test teams in tier four ,which is only possible playing more test matches.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 14, 2014, 23:53 GMT)

don't put all your eggs in one basket, I can remember a time when Indians also loved Hockey and Wrestling.

Posted by gibbons on (January 14, 2014, 23:35 GMT)

@Speng...

"we have to be honest, test matches don't draw crowds except for in England" you are aware the Adelaide and Melbourne tests had record crowds this year, yes? For Adelaide the biggest since bodyline? The others were hardly empty, also.

"Our great-grandchildren will read about this "Test match Cricket" with wonderment like how we view gas lamps and stagecoaches." Well, who knows what the future will bring.

However, I do know that One Day cricket was going to do away with tests as well... but suddenly that's an old, lumbering format, and T20 games complete with fireworks, music, dancers and trampolinists are all the rage. Of course, there's the little problem that when appealing to short attention spans, people lose interest so very, very quickly. From the 2005 Aus tour of Eng - do we remember the ODIs, the T20s, or England regaining the ashes after 16 years most clearly? Perhaps our great-grandchildren will wonder at how we were so easily distracted by sparkly things...

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 14, 2014, 23:33 GMT)

@ Speng: England get some good crowds to tests but they're definitely not the only ones. Here in Australia we must have been pushing 750,000 for the recent Ashes and that ain't bad. We also have free to air TV coverage of home Tests and often that includes the city where the game is being played. .. During the Perth Test I believe they allowed coverage in WA because of the heat. Still some pretty decent crowds at the ground though.

I can see a time when it will only be Aust/Eng/SA playing tests. That's not ideal but still do-able. .. If the Asian teams truly aren't interested in playing Tests then that's up to them and their decision. No-one can force them I suppose but at the end of the day it's not going to hurt us in Aust. much. .. believe it or not, there is life outside of Asia. Vibrant, compelling life in our case.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 14, 2014, 23:03 GMT)

@ Rahul17_1983 writes "If we want to make cricket comparable to football than play more T20 because world don't have 5 days to watch a match."

Why must cricket be comparable to football? It is a myth that cricket must appeal to all: nothing does. Cricket continues to grow: it must evolve, but NOT change.

The wonder of cricket is the interplay of diverse human dynamics - Individual vs individual, individual vs team, team vs team - in an unforgiving format. From golden duck to dropped catch, the game forgives no-one: every moment, matters.

Complex, diverse dynamics played out on differing pitches, with differing balls whose behavior changes with wear, weather, pitch changes et al, make cricket multi-dimensional. Dimension is not independent of time. Time IS dimension, & elemental to cricket's complex fabric.

Why destroy cricket? So that the rich become richer, & the lazy lazier? Chess is not checkers. Archery is not darts. Cricket is not baseball.

Cricket is unique - leave it be!

Posted by bren19 on (January 14, 2014, 23:03 GMT)

If test cricket survives, administrators will need to get past the money and invest some confidence in the form. It is called morals - do what is right - not just profitable.

Posted by geoffrey22 on (January 14, 2014, 22:30 GMT)

Unfortunately by removing a Test and adding ODI or Twenty20 it still does not make the tour a profitable venture, the facts are simple playing these games in the locations they intend to, the UAE is neither going to make money or give Pakistan an home ground advantage,have a look at the crowds at the current PAK-SRI series there are several other venues that could be utilized with better effect England,Scotland,Canada even the USA or perhaps even the Top End of Australia in Cairns,Darwin and Townsville while the crowds would not be supporting Pakistan at least there would be people there. The second thing that should be done is with all the money generated from Cricket throughout the world especially India,it is now time for the ICC to set up their own broadcasting-television organization so there will be no more being told what to do by anyone as happens with horse racing in Australia you Televise it,you broadcast it,you decide whats played and in the end you OWN it.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 22:22 GMT)

Australia and has played ONLY 8 TESTS against Pakistan in the last 11 YEARS And 10 TESTS against England in the last 7 MONTHS FEEL THE DIFFERENCE This is the reason Pakistan is struggling in Test Cricket because we don't play enough against quality opposition

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 14, 2014, 22:14 GMT)

So the Mcdonalds generation do not have time / like test cricket, so what is your vision for cricket , I keep reading how easily board the new generations get so test cricket is out of the question, but what about the boredom of being a player so it's 2020 and the Aussies are touring India its a 20 DAY MARATON OF T20 GAMES, I've trained hard, Gone without while my mates are having fun, eat well instead of enjoying eating etc, I bat 5 and don't bowl (don't get me started on bowlers they will not exist with any quality ) my stats at the end of the tour read played 20 games battered 8, balls faced 200. who would give up there life for that, to a kid being told yeah" we won" but they did not get a bat or bowl would be pretty boring, Football would sound more fun to a kid.

Posted by Rubic on (January 14, 2014, 21:18 GMT)

Cricket Australlia..time to step up and offer Pakistan hosting their HOME series in Australlia...we all want to see more test matches rather than ODI baseball and T20 tape tennis cricket...

Posted by ProdigyA on (January 14, 2014, 20:57 GMT)

Pak just got away easy here. They couldnt put up a fight against a young SL team so Aus after their whitewash against Eng will have their tail up. 2-0 is better than 4-0, I reckon.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 20:47 GMT)

@tanveer please read the article before attempting to sledge people. PAKISTAN asked to shorten the series, so if you're adamant that fear is the motivation for a shorter series, that doesn't bode well. Also, Australia and England aren't the same. I know that's hard to wrap your head around but they're on opposite ends of the earth.

Posted by salazar555 on (January 14, 2014, 20:41 GMT)

Not worth playing tests if you're only going to have 2. The so called big 4 might as well just play tests against each other and play one day stuff and 20/20 against everyone else.

we now have a two tier system

Group one - South Africa, India, England, Australia Group two - everyone else

Posted by Asad_Khan1 on (January 14, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

@Assertive-Indian Pakistan has also won 3 test series in England in 1987, 1992 and 1996. Pakistan has third best Win/ Loss ratio in tests after Australia and England. India has Win loss ratio of 0.80 whereas Pak has win loss ratio of 1.09 in Test cricket. Enough said.

Posted by Speng on (January 14, 2014, 20:22 GMT)

While it would be lovely to forever have 5 test match series played over a 2 month span with warm-up FC matches as it used to be we have to be honest, test matches don't draw crowds except for in England (and even then only when playing Aus, SA or India). A hundred years from now do we think anybody will be playing 5 day matches? Our great-grandchildren will read about this "Test match Cricket" with wonderment like how we view gas lamps and stagecoaches. The PCB is in a difficult situation, it must cost them a huge amount of money to send teams to places like the UAE to play in "home" test matches in front of small crowds. Do the PCB even get a cut of the gate receipts or do those get pocketed by the stadium owners? At least with the ODIs and T20Is they make some decent TV money. As a fan I would love to see Pakistan take on Australia in a proper series but the realities of Pakistan's situation do not allow it.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 20:16 GMT)

And Jason for your memmory SA beat Pakistan by the help of Pakistani Spinner Imran Tahir if Imran Tahir not in 2nd test Pakistan could be white wash SA.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 19:44 GMT)

That odd moment when Kamran Akmal looks like Rohit Sharma in the pic.

Posted by SimonTHFC on (January 14, 2014, 19:42 GMT)

When will Asian teams stop devaluing test cricket? just because you do not have the players for it, play the games and this is how you will learn!! Sides should stop playing ODI's and T20 games against these sides, hit them in the pockets. Maybe then thy will take the game of cricket seriously.

Posted by AbbasFaisal on (January 14, 2014, 19:28 GMT)

Very disappointed to know that only two tests will be played between the two teams after 4 years. I am a really big fan of PAK playing test cricket against the big four. But on the brighter side, 2 match series give PAK a better chance of a series win/draw as they against SA.

Posted by outforhatrick on (January 14, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

ICC should standardize the Test Series in future, that is they should split the calendar evenly so that all 10 test playing nations play equal amount of test cricket in a calendar year say 10 - 12 Tests per year and at the end of 3 years all of them would have completed a circle of Home and Away Series. Also ICC should ensure the Pitches are prepared by Neutral Curators negating Home Advantage similar to the umpires, ICC should ask for control of the Test Venues in each nation and maintain the Pitches. This will ensure all the nations play equal amount Test Cricket on Neutral Pitches, ensuring competitive Cricket, results should not matter in case of nations ZIM/BD, as they have to play more to improve. Finally all the Subcontinent Teams individually have never won a Away Test Series in SA/AUS(neither look like winning in near future), so all of them are equally on that platform.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

Double standards by the ICC. They say test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and must continue to flourish, so bring pink coloured balls, day / night test matches, etc. Yet, they sit back and see test cricket die a slow death and do nothing about it. The solution is simple, just impose a minimum of a three test series instead of the meaningless two test affairs. If this is obligatory, teams will be forced to play series of three test matches. The PCB will make all sorts of excuses to play ODIs and T20s. Their latest one will be that the tests v Australia have been cut so that the team can get more ODI practice before the World Cup. This is utter nonsense. Practising on flat UAE pitches is worse than practising at all for pitches in Aus & NZ. If it is all about preparing for the World Cup, then why are India playing 5 tests in England and not 3 tests and several ODIs? It is up to the ICC to put an end to this two test madness.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 19:15 GMT)

Once again dollars win & sport suffers. Mind you, when I watch any South African Test series on Foxtel in Australia, I see the number one team in the world playing to stadiums barely half full. If Australia or England had the number one team then the stadiums would almost be at capacity for at least the first three days of a test. So perhaps this is a sign of the times. Perhaps the administartors are just responding to their audience demands. But as a bit of a purist I want to see the Aussies 'tested' at least 3 times against anyone for it to be declared a series. Two tests appears more like an afterthought, than part of scheduling to determine who is the better side.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 19:04 GMT)

If money is so important to the administrators, then why not scrap the test series and just play ODIS and T20s?

Another sad day for test cricket.

ICC should make it mandatory for a three test series and until that is done, ICC should share the blame for degrading test cricket.

Posted by Haz95 on (January 14, 2014, 18:43 GMT)

Jason blake? What are you talking about, Pakistan ended South Africas unbeaten streak and they can't perform against the top 4? They beat SA in a series in SA, they beat India in India yet you call say they're unable? If Pakistan played near as much as eng, aus+ind do then we will defo be @#2 in all rankings. We were whitewashed in SA and came back after practice and managed to level a series 1-1 followed by a 2-1 series win in South Africa. It is true, test cricket has poor audiences especially in the UAE...As A Pakistan brit, I don't think PAK is safe to play in, yet either so we will need another venue but UAE is not the option...I believe it should be England as it has a high Paki population already so financially it won't be bad and also we can become good on bouncy wickets too as we get flat/slow practice in the PAK domestic scene. Australia were a great opponent and I remember how Raza Hasan owned and how Hussey owned Ajmal Pak must tour Aus and get whitewashed for experience

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

Embarrassing that only two Tests will be played, proper cricket loses out once again.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 17:49 GMT)

This is very disappointing news. There should be at least three tests for a series involving these two teams. Australia will be very confident after their success in the Ashes and it would be great to see them against a strong Pakistani bowling attack in Asian conditions. Two tests hardly ever test a team's true skills. The recent series between India and SA, and Pakistan and SA were also too short and the authorities should definitely do something about this issue.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 17:30 GMT)

@Mr.Jasonblake Pakistan beaten by Australia in 9 consective test but you remember Pakistan also white wash Australia in Test series and now the time is come again Pakistan will beat Australia 3-0 but Australian cricket board just reduce the schedule of series because they scared of facing Ajmal nd they do not want to play in U.A.E The graveyard of English Team's.

Posted by Aura123 on (January 14, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

Keeping in mind Pakistan can't play home due to which struggling to make money so it does make sense to play ODI and T20 which will generate more revenue for PCB.I think it will be very competitive series as both sides has some new exciting talent so it will test for both of them. Can't wait

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 14, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

The only way to stop this is for the ICC to make test series a minimum of 3 matches. If it is not 2 matches, it is nit a recognized test series, the games are not recognized as tests, don't go down in the record, don't count towards any rankings, etc. And if countries do not want to play test series, bye bye test ranking. Hello Ireland - you have tests status!

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

Pakistan is way better than SL who cancelled a 3 Test series in SA because it would have clashed with the SLPL, which ended up never happening anyway. Compared to SLC, the PCB are brilliant and thoughtful administrators.

Posted by Umms on (January 14, 2014, 16:29 GMT)

Why not elimiate the T20 and one ODI. It is in the interest of Pakistan and Australia to play 3 test series simply becuase Australia is going through the rebuilding process and if they want to regain their no1 spot they need to play more in alien conditions as well. This will make them stronger if they beat Pakistan in 3 match series and take this experience to Srilanka and India for that matter. For Pakistan they need to play more as well to compete with different teams rather than only Srilanka. Their players would be mentally strong if they play more against top teams who have solid infrastructure like Australia.

Posted by cnksnk on (January 14, 2014, 16:28 GMT)

I know there are reasons and everything will look valid in the eyes of the impacted. However Australia has not crowned itself with glory. 2 tests with SA in the past is hardly the way to go. Clearly CSA and may be CA are not very kicked with test cricket. While BCCI could be blamed for the 2 test fiasco this is one more example of how major cricket countries are restricting tests to a minimum of 2 tests. Australia play England for 5 tests because of Ashes and India - 4 tests because of the money. Rest all does not seem to matter. Sad...

Posted by Rahul17_1983 on (January 14, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

If we want to make cricket comparable to football than play more T20 because world don't have 5 days to watch a match with max no result.Or else stop cribbing abt promoting cricket to level of football

Posted by sandeep33 on (January 14, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

i dont knw why pak fans criticising india aus & eng for their lack of test playing.we all saw the empty gallery in the ongoing test series vs lanka..u cant see such poor crowd in anywhr ind,aus & eng..pakistan themselves are responsibl for their position now,

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:12 GMT)

ICC should scrap the two test norm... Minimum should be Three tests. Maximum five tests. Why can't Pak and Aus play a five test series. ICC should I fact encourage that.. Three tests should be by exception. Two tests in any case should be abolished...is ICC listening.....

Posted by Mel-waas on (January 14, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

Terrible Decision by PCB. Pakistan test cricket is dying a slow death due to no home cricket and test team is starving for cricket. Yet PCB got their heads in sand

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 15:54 GMT)

I think that this is such poor thinking by the PCB they should increase the number of tests rather than ODIs;. If the PCB is worried about the money and broadcasting then they should request cricket Australia to host Pakistan. Therefore they will use to the conditions in Australia a head of the wc 2015.

Posted by asim229 on (January 14, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

I see this strange pattern for the last few years that Australia, England and India are playing a lot of cricket with each other and Pakistan is only playing every alternate year with Srilanka and SouthAfrica Now they only want a useless two test series after so many years. Considering that there only 8 top test playing nations the matches should be divided equally at-least among the top 8 teams and the series should consist of minimum of 3 tests, 3 ODIs and 2T20s.

Posted by samincolumbia on (January 14, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

@mzm149 - Why do u bring up India in your posts? I know you are smitten, but it would be more meaningful for you to bring up Pakistan's achievements, like losing to Zimbabwe, getting all out for 49, 99 etc in SA and not able to win a single game in the Champions Trophy!

Posted by getsetgopk on (January 14, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

Hosting cricket teams away from home drains a lot from the pockets of PCB, let there be no doubt about that. The logistics associated with moving a complete squad with support staff each time you play, the amount of money that goes into air tickets alone is too much for a small board like PCB. Besides there are other costs like sorting visas, passports and what not, not to mention UAE is way to expensive compared to Pakistan, hotels, transportation is few times higher compared to Pak. Can't fault the PCB on this, and nice of Auss to agree to the new schedule. Some kind of cricket is always better than no cricket.

Posted by FurqanKhan on (January 14, 2014, 15:10 GMT)

Its a reality that money is really affecting test cricket...now the min amount of matches should be three in case of tests...!!! Srilanka, w.i and now pakistan are really getting uninterested in it...!!!

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 15:08 GMT)

we might want our team to be no1 as a fan. but pak is on 4th-5th for few years. that shows that they are no doubt poor, pathetic at times but doing something good in between. no point to be too much disappointed. definately there are some issues in there from quality to selection but its not all dark. yes they have lost to Zim, that was poor. but losing from SL isnt that bad. if a team is ranked below, it doesnt mean they cant play good cricket. SL is playing good cricket. being fans we expect them to win each and every game which is simply not possible. but they are doing something to stay in middle of rankings.

Posted by CM1000 on (January 14, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

Hopefully they will finalise and announce the itinerary for this series with enough notice for people who want to plan holidays / time off work around it, not like that absolute debacle a year ago in India, when the BCCI didn't announce the Test dates and venues until just a few months before, and then after we arranged flights from London to Delhi for the 1st Test, they moved it 2,000 kilometres to Chennai with just a few weeks notice!! How NOT to encourage cricket tourism!!

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

If Pakistan doesn't cut down 3rd test then It would be a problem for them on getting the Media Rights as ODI format is more popular in Pakistan and PCB even provides free entry for test matches.It would be a total loss if they doesn't organize ODI series.My Opinion is that PCB should request ACB and add some more matches so series could be 3 ODI's 2 T20's and 3 Test Matches and that would be quite good.The thing is to not stick on FTP and make co ordination with ACB for some additional matches.

Posted by mainul079080 on (January 14, 2014, 14:59 GMT)

@Stark62. I totally agree with you. And i want to add that Pakistan is passing the lowest and poorest era in tests (performance wise) in last 3 decades. And they will even slump further because the selectors have decided that (i came to know from a special source) they wont pick super performers of domestic cricket (like Fawad, Haris, Sami Aslam, Salauddin) in recent times and keep faith on these present team members.

Posted by Assertive-Indian on (January 14, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

mzm149, it is not the number test matches won which counts, it is how many test series which a nation wins. I am curious as to how many test series has Pakistan won abroad, as compared to India? I know for a fact that India won test series in England in 1971, 1986, and 2007. Also in WI in 1971, 2006, and 2011. How many test series has Pak won in these two nations?

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

Either 2 or 3 Australia will capitalise on Pakistan..................

Posted by Stark62 on (January 14, 2014, 14:34 GMT)

@ Omer Imtiaz Tell me, what have Pak done in Tests, after the 3-0 thrashing of Eng?!?!

We lost to Zimb (a drawn series), thrashed in SA, couldn't win a series against SA in the UAE (our home) and now, we can't beat a team ranked below us, in the UAE again.

Truth is, we have rapidly declined since the England whitewash and we have become mediocre with, mediocre Test players (except Younis, Misbah and Ajmal).

Lastly, the Test championship hasn't been totally scrapped because some broadcasters may become interested, once the cut off for the top 4 is decided and the four teams participating are announced.

Posted by Jda123 on (January 14, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

Hopefully not the UAE, everything has been poor there, look at the crowds for the last few series, even the LOI has a poor crowd.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

^^^^^ The reason is pakistan fast bowling line up is really good. Wasim , waqar

take for example "they won many matches in newzeland than iinda"

Posted by class9ryan on (January 14, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

As a person who wants Australia to do well, its really fine. I don't see the Aussies going anywhere on those dust-bowls without Mike Hussey. I wonder if this test series has been trimmed so that Australia don't receive a major setback in rankings. I do support the Aussies but the truth is UAE is just too good for them as team that relies on its pace-men.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

@SandipInd: I hope you've got the answer.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

@ stark62....are you sure your following the right game? Pakistan was only recently displaced as the #4 team on Test Rankings, a position they held for a year or so. And while I agree they are not amongst the 4 best Test teams, there is every chance that they would be able to claw their way back into the top 4 (especially if they had been able to win the current series against SL, sadly this wont be possible)

Secondly, don't you read the news/cricinfo? the Test Championship just got scrapped bro.

Posted by mensan on (January 14, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

@mzm149... good work. Your stats are a real eye opener for the Indian fans.

This series should remain a 3 test series. However ACB can help PCB by inviting them for 3 ODI series in their winter (June/July) like they did in 2002, and sharing the TV rights fee and gate money with them.

Posted by Ramu444 on (January 14, 2014, 13:22 GMT)

Said it before and will say again no need to play in UAE,as the pitches are not prepared to our strength.time to explore new areas.the best will be Malaysia as there is a huge expiate pakistani population

Posted by Stark62 on (January 14, 2014, 13:14 GMT)

A decision which is understandable because of the financial constraints, the pcb has to deal with.

Many Pak fans are disinterested in Test cricket because we are simply rubbish at it and there is no point in playing Tests, when only the top four will be chosen to partake within the Test championship, which would make it impossible for Pak because they play far too few Tests.

Overall, there will be bigger crowds during the limited overs series and greater revenue for the pcb because the last time Aus had the limited overs tour, the crowds turned out in big numbers and the action on the field, was very competitive too.

Posted by MianMoosa on (January 14, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

what if Pakistan play this series in Australia, they will get good practice & exposure on those bouncy pitches before World cup 2015

Posted by KabsCricki on (January 14, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

Really? Maybe thinking cricket is the wrong approach, rather watch it. Test match cricket is the toughest form of the game and constitutes endurance and team spirit not just talent and skill, hence the name, and no luck or single dubious decisions can alter it, the winner has to truly prove themselves. 80 000 plus came to see Australia demolish england in a dead rubber match, as the series was won. Its a great occasion for the cricket lover. 20/20 games are non stop action for the kids and wives to enjoy as well while 50 over games are the world cup format and are vital. The old days of 3 tests, 5 odi's (and now 2 20/20's) works well. That should be the standard for all series. I dont see how a 2 test series helps the audience when it finishes level most times and there is no winner.

Posted by khs_shk2000 on (January 14, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

This time Pakistan should prepare the pitches for the series not somebody else, otherwise samething will happen what they are facing now with Srilanka.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

With Pakistan facing financial issues and the ICC unwilling to help, we may soon be unable to play any test cricket. Though people may not realize it yet, but we are one of the few countries where the bowling dominates the batting and when that stops we may very well have bowling machines indeed.

Posted by bonobo on (January 14, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

this is so depressing. i almost feel there is no point in a 2 match series. in someways, even just playing one test as a showcase has more meaning. but i guess this is what the majority of the viewing public want and the world changes...just sad and frustrating, when something you love goes out of fashion and you cant enjoy it anymore...

Posted by WC96QF on (January 14, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

i thot Pakistan was committed to Test cricket ? a lot of cricket bodies are accused of being money minded and venal. PCB at least shud have stood up to money pressure and walked the talk to support Test matches !

Posted by mzm149 on (January 14, 2014, 12:30 GMT)

@SandipInd: Here is an eye opener for you when you say "i dont remember a medicore pak won a single test away." Here are away records of India and Pakistan in different countries.

In south Africa:

India won 2 out of 17 matches (11.8%) Pakistan won 2 out of 9 matches (22.2%)

In England:

India won 5 out of 52 matches (9.6%) Pakistan won 9 out of 47 matches (19.1%)

In Australia:

India won 5 out of 40 matches (12.5%) Pakistan won 4 out of 32 matches (12.5%)

In New Zealand:

India won 5 out of 21 matches (23.8%) Pakistan won 10 out of 29 matches (34.5%)

In West Indies:

India won 5 out of 45 matches (11.1%) Pakistan won 5 out of 23 matches (21.7%)

In Sri Lanka:

India won 4 out of 18 matches (22.2%) Pakistan won 6 out of 18 matches (33.3%)

In Zimbabwe:

India won 3 out of 6 matches (50%) Pakistan won 6 out of 8 matches (75%)

In Bangladesh:

India won 6 out of 7 matches (85.7%) Pakistan won 4 out of 4 matches (100%)

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 12:30 GMT)

problem is no proper board at least previous chairman was working hard to bring back International Cricket in Pakistan.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

As someone else said. If there isn't time for 3 tests, there isn't time for any limited overs games. I understand that there are financial issues for most boards, & for Pakistan more than any other. I don't know what the solutions is but it has to involve the ICC taking money from the richer boards & handing it out to the poorer boards. Having said that, they can't convince India to play by the same rules as everyone else so I don't like the chances of that happening.

Posted by SHAKEEL26 on (January 14, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

I love PAK cricket,whenever they play vs AUS.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 11:25 GMT)

i am also in support of Pak playing some where else. Recent statements showed that Pcb has nothing to in pitch making. so that means you cant make wickets around your strengths. that is half of the home advantage lost. and like we have seen in SL series, i think crowd was not even 1000 even we add all 5 days. test matches in UAE have attracted very few people. and with not desired wickets, they should look to play some where else. apart from England series, rest of test match series have not got enough results. 0-0, 1-0, 1-1, 1-0 with 1 to go. and its not good for test cricket.

about this decision , i agree with pcb. they have got no choice to play more odis as playing 3 tests only will give them 15 days of crowd less cricket. money has a big role in cricket .

i agree with 1 of comment that tests do attract people but mostly sitting at home or internet. not in grounds . ( exception of few countries. even there crowd is far less than odis or t20 leagues)

Posted by ThinkingCricket on (January 14, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

I really don't understand it. If so many people howl in protest every time a Test is cut, then why don't they actually watch? Tests only attract the hyper-vocal internet minority. They are to be very honest so boring that any sort of excitement whatsoever leads to a game being called classic, and nowadays people are so defensive about it that blocking and scoring 50 runs in a 30 over session in a completely dead match in front of an empty crowd is labelled as "class cricket" and full of 'subtle nuance'.

I am so very happy there are fewer Tests and more real cricket where people actually have to play, and make difficult strategic decisions and can't just block their way out of trouble.

Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 14, 2014, 11:01 GMT)

Anyways...lets leave those silly ind-pak arguments behind n come back to the main topic. Although this 2 test series has been proposed by PCB, we cant really blame them. The PCB is going through a tough period with no cricket possible in Pak n no real interest in test cricket among the UAE locals, PCB dont have any other choice. In this sort of situations, the ICC has to be blamed. Its their duty to run n protect test cricket n they are surely rich enough to help a struggling body like PCB organise a full 3 match series. But the ICC officials dont care about the game.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 14, 2014, 10:55 GMT)

Easy. Don't play in UAE. Play the three Tests in the UK where they will get crowds. London, Birmingham, and Bradford have huge Pakistani populations. What's the problem?

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 14, 2014, 10:55 GMT)

All the best Pakistan, from the depth of my heart, I wish you win and white wash. You can do it!

Posted by khurramsch on (January 14, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

I dont understand some people. Tell me what is more pathetic? A 5th or 6th Ranked team losing from likes of SA/Aus in away tours or a no 1 or no 2 ranked team continuously losing in away tests and in fact getting white washed? Rankings are there for a reason. If a 5th ranked lost by 1st ranked that is very much expected. But what about no 1 or no 2 ?

Posted by Fourworldcups on (January 14, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

@SLslider, interesting comments, given Aus thrashed Sri Lanka in SL in the last series there, to go with the whitewash in Aus.

This is one of those rare occasions you can understand the PCB's decision. Relying so heavily on TV rights for income forces these kind of calls. I just hope that we get at least 3 or 4 Tests vs Pakistan when they tour here next, as they're the only subcontinental team that has ever been competitive when they visit Australia.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 14, 2014, 10:38 GMT)

I love watching Australia v Pakistan there is just is not enough of it, always hard fought games, the Pakistanis have had some wonderful players, it is always real tough for Australia to win on the sub continent and UAE but if Sri Lanka can win surely anyone can.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (January 14, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

@ Saqib Abeer Malik Yes you did win in SA which is great but just before that you lost at home as well(considering UAE PAK's home here). And before that lost to ZIM as well where India won 5-0. And what has BCCI to do with anything? Asking help from other boards and all. What is that?

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

It will be good for Pakistan to play a gr8t test team like Australia but on other hand it is shame for PCB because a home series should be played at home and not 100 miles away from ur Boundaries. It is also a big blow to Pakistan players who will never be exposed to foreign players. I also don't understand why one has to blame India for all this disaster if PCB is really serious they can invite Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan and then show to world that there is no danger for cricketers

Posted by Bdthetiger on (January 14, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

@mzm149,i dont remember a medicore pak won a single test away.test in sa was onsided where pak lost 3-0.and ind lost 1-0(2).pak also lost to sri in 2012 1-0(3) where a team like bd scores 600+ runs!pak has nowhere near the success like mighty india.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 14, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

Pakistan played its home test series against Australia in England in 2010 and its home ODI and t20 series against them in UAE in 2012. Isn't it time for Pakistan to tour Australia now? I guess series in Australia will be beneficial for Pakistan as preparation for World Cup 2015. Even if they have to play Pakistan's home series, it should be in England or South Africa instead of UAE where pitches are extremely flat and offer nothing for bowlers. Pakistan need to prepare its team on pace friendly tracks.

Posted by GermanPlayer on (January 14, 2014, 10:21 GMT)

@Danish It is Pakistan that has decided to reduce the test series. If you want your players to get 15000 runs too, talk to your board. And also tell your players to put in decent performances consistently.

Posted by SLslider on (January 14, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

PAK is not very strong as we can see SL is having fun and still winning easily but I have no doubt that they will whitewash AUS. AUS are just not good enough outside their home. They lack a good quality batsman to bat in SUB continent, their young batsmen are also poor, Watson,warner will be walking wickets. Their bowlers will not get help from tracks and will easily concede over 450 everytime. They don't have single spinner with the quality of herath or even Ajmal. So it will be a nightmare for AUS and their fans should be happy and should consider themselves lucky that Test matches have been reduced.

Posted by Assertive-Indian on (January 14, 2014, 10:09 GMT)

Because too many nations now enjoy the test status, it is putting too much pressure on ICC to arrange matches amongst all. This is virtually impossible to achieve without diluting the quality of cricket. For example, if I have read the history correctly, till the 70s India was mainly playing cricket against two nations: England and West Indies. These teams used to visit India for 5 to 6 match test series. Once in a while NZ used to show up for a 3 match series. Those days India didn't play much against Pak, Aus, and SA which were banned. Then suddenly SL started playing, then Zimbabwe, and now Bangladesh. To add to that, India started playing SA, Pak, and Aus a bit too much. And now it has become a complete mess. If WI could improve their team somehow, I'd prefer to go back good old days of playing WI, England, and occasional matches against NZ.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 14, 2014, 10:09 GMT)

Australia vs Pakistan will be an interesting test series. Last time they played in England on conditions which suited Australia more and series was drawn. This time in UAE will again be a close series unlike India's one sided away series in South Africa, Australia and England.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

yes you will score 15000 test runs when you play 200 tests, or over 11000 runs when you play over 160 tests matches, what about Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies where they stand?

Cricket will remain game of just four dictators England, Australia, India and South.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 14, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

It's a real shame to hear that the series is to lose a Test match but the reality is that limited-overs cricket earns more money for the boards and you can't really blame the PCB for wanting to maximise earnings. It's easy for us in countries like Australia and England to criticise but imagine if our "home" games were played in NZ or Ireland.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

@jasonblake... deeply surprised to see your comments in favour of india and against pakistan... pakistan is the only team who have beaten india in india in year 2013.. and only subcontinent team who have beaten series to South Africa in their country... india scored nearly 400 runs in every match they played against Aus at home, chased 360 for the loss of just 1 wicket but we all had seen what happened to them in SA...than y you want pak to get out of International Circuit... Pakistan players are passing by most difficult circumstances... still they are performing reasonably well... i hope time has come other boards shall help PCB and break the monopoly of BCCI

Posted by Assertive-Indian on (January 14, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

Here it is PCB to blame, because they have requested the Aussies to convert the third test match into a series of ODIs. So I don't understand why Aussie and Pakistani fans are blaming India or ICC for this. Actually, I don''t blame PCB for this, because if you look at the TV coverage of Test Matches involving Pak being played in the Gulf, there is hardly anyone in the ground apart from players, umpires, and the groundsmen! Test matches are highly unpopular in subcontinent right now. The best example was when India recently whitewashed Australia 4-0 in tests at home. I think the maximum one-day crowd in those matches never exceeded 10,000. Compare that to an ODI series or a random IPL match, which are normally played to packed houses. Here in Mumbai, to get a ticket for an IPL match, you have to book weeks in advance, while for test matches, you can just walk in and a ticket is guaranteed!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 14, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

It's high time that there was an absolute commitment by the ICC to ensure that Test cricket (the only first class form of the game; the only games that live on in cricketing history and truly reveal the quality of a nation's players) is fully safeguarded. If only they weren't blinded by $$$, they'd realise that cricket's identity is, at its foundation, Test cricket. It's the trunk from which the branches - ODIs & t20s - have grown (to use Rahul Dravid's apt analogy). Nurture & feed the trunk and the branches are then also in better health. The sacrificing of TC for format games is short-termism because this shift alienates the genuine fan of cricket who understands the game in all its nuances. I make no apology for Test Cricket being arcane - it takes an intellect and study to appreciate it in full. And as the same may be said of chess, for example, let's not throw away the jewel in the crown of our great game.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 9:47 GMT)

Two test series between the major test nations are ridiculous. Replace Pakistan with Ireland immediately :P

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

last time Pakistan faced Australia was Birmingham test 2010 where Pakistan thrashed Ricky Ponting side with the help of some amazing bowling display by Amir and Asif, and yet again we Pakistani Cricket fans disappointed the way Australia, England and India dictating their terms is simply killing the game of Cricket.

Their selfish approach of just playing against each other well not against but for each other to make maximum money is a ridiculous approach, pak, SL, WI, NZ simply do not play enough cricket, look the amount of tests Ponting, Tnndulkar, Kallis, cook, KP, Bell have played in less then ten years compare to inzmam, younis, Mccollum, how dare u playing only two tests against Pakistan, please do not bother at all. test cricket is joke, India, Eng and Australia should play cricket and forget about the rest.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

the only Cricket playing Nation you can learn from. how about Pakistan vs Australia in #ROMANIA . It will be awesome

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

Aus v Pakistan - bring it on! we love the pace v spin attack, its the best one can ask for. With Australia having batting edge and Pakistan playing on home turf (UAE), anything is possible. Wish we could see more of two teams, in Australia, Pak anywhere in the world. There's always this venom amongst players when they play eachother. ICC should add more Pak-Aus games in its fixture.

Posted by avmd on (January 14, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

Its a really shame and disappointing, test series should be minimum of three tests. Don't care much about T/20 and 3 ODIs are enough for me.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

If they prepare spinning wickets, i am sure Pakistan can come out of this 2-0. As we saw against the then no. 1 test side england in 2011.

Posted by Fijicricket on (January 14, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

@Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 14, 2014, 7:57 GMT) Fijicricket is not saying Pakistan should not play Tests by says they should play with teams of Pakistans standard. I agree with him as no one wants to see one sided matches. What's wrong with that? As for your silly suggestion that teams that cannot win away should be excluded, England the poms would be first to go!

Posted by awaismisri on (January 14, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

This is sad. The PCB is a joke. 2 Tests? You have to be joking. Might as well give up our test status!! #disgusting

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 9:19 GMT)

This is an absolute joke! In the early 90's Pakistan use to come to Australia every 4 years and then from 2000 onwards, it was 2004, 2009 and their next bilateral series against Australia in Australia, is not till 2016. The blame lies with Australia and England, as they only want to invite India so they can sell the TV rights back to India for huge sums of money. You want to know what's killing the game? This pathetic scheduling of playing of just 3 countries is what's killing the game. Don't believe me right? I.e... The Ashes, played in England in July and the return leg back in November. The next one is scheduled in 15 months time! What a joke. Australia hammered India 2 years ago and they are calling them back again at the end of this year. How do you expect other countries to improve when you shun your back on them and don't even want to play against them because you'd rather call the one country so you can sell TV rights back to them. Feel free to let me know if I'm right or wrong

Posted by applethief on (January 14, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

Real shame. Understandable, but 2 test series do more harm than good. Better of just doing a LO tour

Posted by AbdulRauf-99 on (January 14, 2014, 9:14 GMT)

Should be a 3 test series If anything else, As dunger.bob said, it will be hard to imagine cricket without Pakistan, Fijicricket comments are based on India performances at HOME, May i remind you that last time Pakistan came to India, India lost 1-1 in T20s and 2-1 in the ODIs.

Posted by sosasammy on (January 14, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

After beating india in india and SA in SA the bragging rights at the moment are with Pakistani fans until the next time Indians beat us in a bilateral series.

Posted by chechong0114 on (January 14, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

This sport has been around for such a long time and yet more than half the cricket boards involved are either cash strapped or struggling financially. Yet with all the financial issues plaguing the game they still cannot seem to come up with a plan to make money. Apart from maybe Aus, India, Eng and Bangladesh none of the other cricket boards can survive on their own it is time now for the remaining boards to strengthen their ties and try new and more aggressive and enterprising things to ensure profit and sustainability. Day/Night test matches must start now, colored uniforms for test match cricket as well, upgrade the status of test series to mirror the Ashes and create more rivalry between teams. The sport has to find a way to keep fans interested and it is just not doing that and they take too long and make everything too complicated all the time all that is doing is hurting the sport.

Posted by Tmalik on (January 14, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

I have been thinking from sometime why Aus/Pak not playing enough against each other, last test series 2010 is just not good enough. Pakistan should be brought here in Australia to play 4 or 5 tests + 5 ODI's + 5 T20's. it will be worth watching those games as i would rate Pak better opponent than India for Australia simply because Pak brings so much passion to the game and their fighting spirit which is just not there in Indian team... Flat out. Such series would not only benefit Pakistan in long run but will defiently bring lot of joy to Aussie fans. Although I am not in CA but i am sure Australia enjoys great relation with PCB and they would help them in these times...

Posted by azzaman333 on (January 14, 2014, 8:54 GMT)

How can you even call 2 tests a series. It's pathetic. 3 tests should be the minimum, with the possible exception of contests against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 8:52 GMT)

I feel for Pakistan, it can't be easy for their administrators, players or fans and its right we do what we can to help them out. Here's hoping the security situation will resolve itself sooner rather than later and we can get back to playing at places like Lahore and Karachi.

Posted by Ray24 on (January 14, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

@ dunger.bob - many a thanks for an open honest and sincere view on Pak cricket. Not only Pakistan, but the cricket world needs people like you to openly advocate for one another so that cricket cn stay alive and competitive. Otherwise we will have teams going into downwars spirals, never to receover and along with this the level of the game will also reach new lows. We can see how teams like the once feared WI have gone down. NZ were always a decent competitive side, but they are no more as good. India never won away, still don't, so not much has changed. But their ODI team is very strong and you expect that to transfer to the test side. So guys, please support teams for the sake of the game.

Posted by mensan on (January 14, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

@dunger.bob ... thank you for your helping note for Pakistan cricket. I can assure you that game is not dying in Pakistan. We have a lot of domestic cricket being played every season and some good guys coming up.

Posted by mensan on (January 14, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

A 2-0 scoreline is better than 3-0 whitewash for Pakistan. As the situation looks like, it will be a clean sweep for Australia.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 8:35 GMT)

there needs to be at least a 3 test series for there to be any limited over's cricket played

Posted by Messa1 on (January 14, 2014, 8:28 GMT)

lol i saw in Aus newspapers it said ODI's are the dying breed of cricket. It is quiet opposite in Asia, SA and WI, ODI's and T20s are the most watched and packs stadiums where tests are the dying breed which attracts extremely less people to grounds and the tv audience is drastically low!

Posted by Biggus on (January 14, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Disappointing, but I'm happy our board have accomodated PCB's request. They're having tough times atm and if changing the schedule helps it's right we should do so.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 14, 2014, 8:14 GMT)

I was just wondering if a cash injection could persuade the PCB to reinstate the 3rd Test. .. If revenue is the main problem I thought the ICC was cash rich. .. If not, I'll start a raffle down at the pub. Given there are no crowds to speak of the locals probably won't care if it's 3 tests and 3 ODI's plus a T20 or two. Probably a silly idea, but then again, why not. .. I think it would show some genuine good faith and support for Pakistan cricket from the ICC.

I don't want to lose Pakistan from world cricket. They bring too much to the table for that to be allowed to happen. .. I'm old enough to remember Javed Miandad and that little dude made me sit up and have a second look at Pakistan cricket. .. You know what, they're unique and I like the way they play. .. We gotta keep those guy's in the game by hook or by crook. .. From a closet Pak. fan whose an Aussie.

Posted by Haleos on (January 14, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

Let us hear some noise now. When India cut short SA tour there was so much said.

Posted by smudgeon on (January 14, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

Very disappointing outcome, but understandable - limited overs cricket attracts a big TV audience, and the PCB need the revenue. On a slightly related note - when are Australia actually going to play Bangladesh in a test series? I seem to recall 2006 was the last time, and they were two very different teams back then...

Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 14, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

Fijicricket.....if ICC goes by your logic, then even india should not be allowed to play overseas. Having lost 9 out of last 10 away matches n with Eng/Aus tours still to come, i hope for india's sake that it wont be 20-0 by the end of this year. india should just carry on playing against the likes of WI n NZ on their dustbowls because they are hopeless overseas.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

The best thing is to organize this series in Australia with 3 Test matches and 5 Odi. That will surely help Pakistan for their World Cup preparations to be held in Aus/NZ in2015 ... Also both teams are doing well in Test arena and it will be a very exciting contest b.w these two teams ... Mitchell Jhonson v.s Irfan would be a treat to watch !!!!

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (January 14, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

I would like to see Pakistan visiting Australia.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

@cricket_man: yes mate both boards were reaponsible for this. at that time they even discussed possiblity of 5 t20s , which was said to be the loggest t20 seriea ever played. the reason was simple to prepare for t20 wc which was played few days after the seriea between 2 teams.

another such issue will surface soon with WI as both have played limited leg last year but test leg of tour was cut short and hopefully it will be this year. and i think WI board will want some limited overs games instead of 3 test matches. main reason for such issues is cash and cost.

Posted by Lees_Legends on (January 14, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

The next football world cup will be in Brazil. The next one after that in Russia. The one after that will be in Qatar.

Posted by demonbarca on (January 14, 2014, 7:31 GMT)

"in the nation set to host the next football World Cup"

The next football world cup is in Brazil. The one after that in Russia and the Qatar one in 2022

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 7:31 GMT)

Empty stadium is the reason.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (January 14, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

@Khurram S Chaudhry: I get your point of the Test series being the second leg of the Australian tour of UAE. But then I will have to blame the PCB for such obnoxious scheduling. Spreading the tour over a period of 2 years (2012-2014) is simply beyond comprehension. I would still prefer a full tour instead of removing a Test match.

Posted by AlSmug on (January 14, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

I feel a solution maybe be for the true fans of the real game, that being test cricket , protest to the BCCI with one agenda in mind screaming to them to tighten their fragile little minds and put test cricket back where it belongs priority no1

Posted by mushroomcounter on (January 14, 2014, 7:26 GMT)

"Qatar ... the nation set to host the next football World Cup". I think Brazil (2014) and Russia (2018) will be interested to hear that Qatar have brought their 2022 event forward a few years!

Posted by 512fm on (January 14, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

Do people still watch ODIs? I find them extremely boring, may as well have played 3 tests and 2 T20s. Whether people like it or not T20 is the way forward, ODIs should probably go to be perfectly honest. Then again its the format which India is the best in so probably not.

Posted by RG2008 on (January 14, 2014, 7:21 GMT)

Great, more meaningless cricket that no-one cares about and won't be able to remember five seconds after it finishes. It might actually be easier to achieve the stated aim of being the No. 1 test team in the world by actually playing test matches - apart from anything else two match series are a lottery. Would be fantastic to actually play some matches back in Pakistan in their local conditions rather than these empty soulless stadiums in the Middle East.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (January 14, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

Fijicricket surely doesn't like the brand of cricket Pakistan plays. He is comparing Pakistan with the likes of Afghanistan/ Zimbabwe/ Ireland / Scotland. By such bizarre statements from Fijicricket, he is only highlighting the fact that cricket is not popular in Fiji and people need to be educated about cricket over there. And for your kind information, out of the "Big Four" Pakistan has not played a single Test match against India since December 8, 2007 (6 years), last played against Australia in the English summer of 2010 (nearly 3 and a half years), the last time in a Pakistan vs England series, Pakistan whitewashed England and the last Pakistan vs South Africa series was a 1-1 draw. Therefore, I don't see any logic in Fjicricket's statements.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 7:08 GMT)

@cricketman: technically they have played limited leg of this tour earliet in UAE. amd that time they increased no of odis and t20s to prepare for t20 worldcup. this was suppose to be only 3 test tour with no odi or t20. and that might be the reason for this decision to add more limited overs games to get some cost recovered. hardly any crowd in tests during recent series in UAE. England might be good option, but it may cost more and secondly this tour will be in october-november ( if i am not wrong) not in english summer. Rest agreed with you.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 14, 2014, 7:01 GMT)

I think that we should go back to the bad old days and let boards decide who they play against, how often, and for how many matches. All of this artificial stuff is hurting the game.

Posted by LongLiveTestCricket on (January 14, 2014, 6:59 GMT)

Whatever be the reasons, it is Test cricket which is going to lose out to commercial interests yet again. In the past, Test cricket used to be the one parameter which was used to measure the class, temperament and skills of an individual, but now it is the quickfix T20 or pyjama ODI cricket which is throwing the wrong kind of players into the limelight. Also, a lot of meaningless games have increased the risk of injury and burnout for many star performers. At this rate,we'll soon see maybe a one-off Test and 7 ODI/T20 series as part of tours.Problem is also compounded by the fact that some boards which are financially rich, are not looking to help out other boards such as ZIM who have no option but to rely on ODI/T20 for survival.ICC needs to wake-up from its sleep and along with spreading cricket to new countries, needs to ensure that the existing cricket boards can sustain themselves so that the quality of game can further be enhanced, and Test cricket is the best way to do it.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 6:56 GMT)

Nice to have ODI and T2020 matches because otherwise it would be a boring Test series with no interest of people to go in stadium and watch.

i

Posted by Dashgar on (January 14, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

More time should be allocated for these contests to allow a 3 test series plus ODIs. Australia and Pakistan are two of the worlds biggest test nations. If this was played in Pakistan it would warrant 4 or 5 tests.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

Really sad.Three T-20's is a meaningless excercise especially with the T-20 WC getting over.Hate these silly 2-test contests.Teams tend to play defensively.

Posted by AlSmug on (January 14, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

It truly is a travesty that test cricket, the pinnacle of the game is once again sacrificed for a few $. The ICC need to have a look at just what a tremendous success test cricket can be with the right investments and marketing can achieve. The Ashes test series in England and return matches in Australia has record crowds and raised unprecedented revenue. This series can be a sterling example of the way froward in the cricket world

Posted by vswami on (January 14, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

I am sure BCCI will be blamed for the schedule.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (January 14, 2014, 6:43 GMT)

After reading this article my first question is that why is it not a full tour of 3 tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20s. Outside Australia, Pakistan and Australia have played very little cricket especially Test Matches. I would want a full tour of 3 tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20s and that too in England. The "MCC Spirit of Cricket" Test series in England in 2010 between these two teams drew bigger crowds than what we are presently seeing in Pakistan vs Sri Lanka series. Probably Pakistan might not get the spinner-friendly conditions in England but they were able to draw the series against the Australians. Even if it is not in England, I would still prefer a full tour but I am sure Australia won't mind playing in England even if it is against Pakistan and I think the English would not mind helping out Pakistan. Now that for me would a very good package.

Posted by eyballfallenout on (January 14, 2014, 6:41 GMT)

its so unfortunate that we are constantly loosing the pinnacle of cricket to crap ass short games, 3 test should be min for any series. if they can't fit it all in in one go they should split the series to have short form cricket a another time. whats wrong to coming back to play a short form series even a try series outside of the tests.

Posted by roook on (January 14, 2014, 6:38 GMT)

Test cricket is real cricket pakistan has played so few test this year pakistan has achieve any creditable series win after england whitewash. Lost 5-0 in south africa draw in srilanka. Draw and humilating loss against zibabwe, draw with south africa on netral venue. Pakistan will remain 5/6 if this is a attitute prove your self and get and find deserving cricketers for test.

Posted by tick on (January 14, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

First of all to clear all the stupid comments about team Pakistan ,Pak vs Aus used to be a great contest and the records till dec1998 shows that neither team was good away. Till 1998 they played overall 43 tests AUS 15 and PAK 11 rest draw . and PAK won 7 at home and 4 away. AUS won 12 at home and 3 away.. on other hand till 1998 AUS vs IND played 54 tests . AUS 25 and IND 11 .. and among them IND won 8 at home and 3 away and AUS won 16 at home and 9 away. but in next 15 years all changed in which Pak vs AUS played 14 tests and AUS 13 and PAK 1. among them 9 were played in AUS and all won by Aus and NONE WERE PLAYED IN PAKISTAN. Only victory was in 2010 in UK. but on other hand 32 tests were palyed between IND and AUS and both won 13 each BUT INDIA won 11 of these at home and only 2 away in AUS.. IN THESE 15 YEARS IF PAKISTAN HAD BEATEN ENGLAND,INDIA,SOUTHAFRICA,WESTINDIES,NEWZELAND at home with ease. then AUS was never a problem but they never visited. correct your perspectives mates

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (January 14, 2014, 6:33 GMT)

Australia is being starved of tests with other nations besides England and India. We hardly play anyone else.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 6:23 GMT)

some people are really quick in making conclusions. with the world cup in next year, Pakistan is smart to suggest to play limited overs cricket as well as tests, and to face and prepare against Australia for the world cup

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

people should understand things before commenting here. some comments are just funny.

the limited leg of this series has already been played. and they increased no of games in that uae series to prepare for wct20. if some of you think that pcb was scared of losing it and aus is that good then i am sure they can win it 2-0.

2 test series doesnt mean that it will be 1-1. we have seen many 2 match series involving SA, india, WI,NZ just recently.

issue is monetry. with no odis or t20 s, 15 days with just few 100 people in stands is not good for small cash stripped boards. good example just this SL series. you can hardly see any big crowd.

Posted by Bdthetiger on (January 14, 2014, 6:21 GMT)

Pak should not play against aussies in this form.they will surely b whitewashed.beside our young team giving an experienced pak side lot of trouble.i recall pak to play only odi nd t20 series which way they can avoid humaliation nd could b financially better.

Posted by Fijicricket on (January 14, 2014, 6:18 GMT)

Posted by Wasif Sandhu on (January 14, 2014, 4:54 GMT) Why are you looking for Pakistan tour of Australia? Last. three tours down under resulted in 9-0 Whitewash one after the other! Next tour will make it 12-0 four whitewash on the trot! Save the embarrassment and play against Zimbabwe or Afghanistan

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

no surprise. we have seen almost empty stadiums in recemt series vs SL. and to cover up some costs they need few limited overs cricket. playing only 3 tests with no odis/t20 will mean 15 days of cricket with empty stands. and that will not be good for pcb.

its mainly because they have played their odi part of this home series in uae earlier.

Posted by Fijicricket on (January 14, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

@ Posted by Tanveer Ahmed on (January 14, 2014, 5:49 GMT) Pakistans record against Australia is 9-0 whitewash against Australia on the 3 last series played between the two sides! This current Australian team who just lost 4-0 whitewash to India are just too strong for Pakistan . This upcoming series will make it 11-0 whitewash world record. LETS admit Pakistan don't stand chance against the big four. They are being thrashed by even SL

Posted by Cricket_Froth on (January 14, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

Ideally all series would be minimum 3 Tests, however there are clear mitigating factors here. Perhaps the main point is the increased revenue PCB will get if they cut a Test Match and add ODIs and a T20. What strategies are the PCB - and indeed the ICC and Cricket Australia - using to promote Test cricket to the increasing television audiences engaged by short form cricket? In a similar vein what are the PCB and Cricket Australia doing to promote this series to their respective cricket audiences? For example, the BBL in Australia has drawn in huge audiences. The series against South Africa and Pakistan could be promoted in those spaces. It is with great sadness that the current Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is sparsely attended. Some great cricket is being played. Surely cricket authorities can do more to promote the game and improve Test Match interest and attendance. Cricket Froth.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 5:58 GMT)

@ Fijicricket I recall Pakistan whitewashing one of the "big four". I'll let you guess the team. Also recently concluded test series vs SA was 1-1. Your comment is therefore invalid.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 5:49 GMT)

@Fijicricket. I think you should remember in 2010 Pakistann beat Aus in test at neutral venue and in 2013 Pakistan beat SA in UAE, You have to little memmory lol.................

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

Pakistan deserve better than two tests. I'm an Aussie and I love watching Pakistan play.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (January 14, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

Yeah right, BCCI is so scared of its team losing that its playing 5 tests in England and 4 tests in Australia next year- where their team was flogged 0-4 less than 3 years ago... they really are quaking in their boots, aren't they?

Posted by Sir_Francis on (January 14, 2014, 5:35 GMT)

Why bother playing Tests at all. It's clear the administrators don't want them and from what I saw of the crowds in Dubai for Pakistan V Sri Lanka, neither do the fans.

The only people who will miss Tests are older players and me.

And we don't matter.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 5:23 GMT)

they will outclass us unlesswe bring good players like younis misbah and fawad alam some seniors

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 5:20 GMT)

Sad truly. Players like Younis Khan who are real heroes of international test cricket will rue this news. On one side, BCCI created every opportunity for Tendulkar to play as more tests as possible in last 5 o6 6 years if his career, and on the other, we are abbreviating already barren test schedule for our team.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 14, 2014, 5:17 GMT)

@Wasif Sandhu, the answer to your question is in Dec 2016 as per the ICC FTP.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

What a joke. Test series should be a minimum of three tests or they should just revert to a normal first class game an Australian XI v a Pakistan XI but they don't qualify for test records or scores like the World XI games in 1971/2. This may make players pressure their boards for minimum three test series.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 5:09 GMT)

brace yourself 2-0 coming for aus pak team even lose against zim so aus is just a big task for them

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (January 14, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

Give us three tests, our boys need to get used to those conditions.

Posted by Fijicricket on (January 14, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

Another massive mismatches coming up like the Pak/SA tests.ICC should not allow such huge mismatches as TEST cricket could suffer further . Pakistan should not be allowed to play tests against the big four( SA/INDIA /ENGLAND/ AUSTRALIA). Once they prove they are of the standard required to match the big four by beating Afghanistan/ Zimbabwe/ Ireland / Scotland convincingly THEN ONLY they should be allowed dot take on the big four. Test cricket is dying because of such mismatches

Posted by siddhartha87 on (January 14, 2014, 5:02 GMT)

so it will be only 2-0 for Aus

Posted by Waqs77 on (January 14, 2014, 5:01 GMT)

In each and every news related to Pakistan cricket whatever is the issue, cricinfo must mentions "cricket is not been played in pakistan AFTER SRI LANKA TEAM BUS ATTACK IN 2009". it is like a duty of cricinfo to remind and re fresh the incident in the minds of everyone to make sure NO CRICKET is returned in pakistan while everyone knows the true story behind sri lanka team bus attack. What a shame and i know now you will not post my comment. such a biasness.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 14, 2014, 5:00 GMT)

Seems it will be some while away before international cricket returns to Pakistan, but hope I am wrong. I know how much the cricket loving public of Pakistan is yearning to see international cricket in the shores of Pakistan.

Regarding playing 2 tests instead of 3, these are the unfortunate decisions that the cash strapped cricket board must make. Being UAE, just tests will mean largely bare stadiums except for a Friday. ODIs will boost the crowd numbers and PCB revenue in turn. Must start with tests and then switch to shorter formats as interest can be prolonged. Starting with ODIs and T20s mean by the time tests start, spectator interest is down. Hope tests start first. Hope Pakistan address their test batting weaknesses by the time this series starts as Aussie bowling is the best in the world. Good luck to both teams and hope the series will be a cracker.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (January 14, 2014, 4:57 GMT)

Should be three tests. These two test series are a waste of time.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 4:57 GMT)

Pakistan should not be playing any Test cricket until they can host games in their own country. If they can't even do that they should not be able to "call the shots" regarding which matches are played. Test cricket is being reduced in amount and status only to give the PCB more money. It's Pakistan's reduced "commercial viability" that is driving this decision; not the overall good of the game. Australia wants more Test cricket. James Sutherland clearly states. "we wouldn't like to be playing a series of less than three..." Pakistan are lowering the value of international Test cricket.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

plz let me know when pak will be touring aus....its been 4 years since their last tour

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (January 14, 2014, 4:50 GMT)

its just a miney-driven ridiculous decision

Posted by Geeva on (January 14, 2014, 4:48 GMT)

Surely its in the interest of Pakistan cricket to play 3 tests...can only improve by playing more..u can really blame england aus and india for less tests!!!!!!!!!!!!!3 Tests 3 ODI and a T20 would have been best...

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 4:43 GMT)

India shortened South Africa tour to 2 tests in fear of losing. Pakistan doing the same.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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