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March 19, 2008
With Bangladesh having agreed to play five ODIs in April, Pakistan are looking forward to a visit from Sri Lanka in order to fill up the hole left in their itinerary following Australia's postponement of their scheduled tour in March-April.
Neighbours India have already refused a request, and the Pakistan board is now trying to convince Sri Lanka to visit in the second half of April; Bangladesh's five ODIs are scheduled for the first half.
"Sri Lankan board president Arjuna Ranatunga is coming to Pakistan on Thursday and I hope that he will agree to send his team for a one-day series," Nasim Ashraf, the PCB chairman, told AFP. Sri Lanka's tour of the West Indies concludes on April 15, and they don't have any international commitments till the Asia Cup at home in June.
Meanwhile, Ashraf shrugged off doubts over Pakistan's hosting of the ICC Champions Trophy in September as well the Asia Cup, which is to be held in June-July. The ICC on Tuesday named Sri Lanka as an alternative venue for the Champions Trophy in case Pakistan was not cleared on security issues.
"ICC is sending an advanced party to Pakistan on Thursday which will assess facilities and security in Pakistan and we hope to host the event in a befitting manner," Ashraf said. Ashraf also said he held meetings with Cricket Australia chief executive Creagh O'Conner in Dubai and hoped the postponed Australia series will be rescheduled soon. Cricket Australia had invited Ashraf to Australia in order to fix new dates for the tour.
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