Pakistan news May 16, 2016

PCB mulls Sri Lanka as venue for West Indies series

ESPNcricinfo staff

The high cost of playing in the UAE is believed to be the reason for the PCB seeking an alternative venue © Getty Images

The PCB has sought a financial estimate from Sri Lanka Cricket in relation to Sri Lanka hosting Pakistan's home series against West Indies in October this year.

The series, comprising two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s, is scheduled to be held in the UAE, but because of the high costs of playing in the UAE, the PCB is mulling Sri Lanka as an alternative venue.

"We are concerned about rising costs of hosting matches in the UAE, and if Sri Lanka is significantly cheaper then we shall consider it as an option," a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo.

SLC secretary Mohan de Silva also confirmed the PCB's approach: "Yes, they have approached us. We will put the budget together and send it back to them. It will depend on whether it is a financially viable option for them to host a series here."

Pakistan has largely remained a no-go zone for international teams since March 3, 2009, when gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus during the Lahore Test. Since then, the UAE has hosted a majority of Pakistan's home series, with only Afghanistan and Zimbabwe visiting Pakistan for one series each. ESPNcricinfo understands the UAE has not been dropped as venue, but the PCB is keen to weigh up other options.

The idea of playing elsewhere emerged after the Pakistan Super League was held in Dubai and Sharjah in February; it cost the PCB more than US$ 3 million (Pakistan rupees 31.4 crore approx) to stage the tournament over two weeks. It is understood that officials from Dubai Sports City and the Sharjah stadium met PCB officials in Lahore to ask for increased venue costs for the bilateral series. The PCB had been sharing revenues from gate money, ticketing and hospitality boxes with venues in the UAE previously, while the PSL was hosted with a rental agreement.

One potential drawback of Pakistan playing West Indies in Sri Lanka could be the weather, with the monsoon expected to hit the island in October and November.

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