Fallout of Australia's pullout March 22, 2008

Pakistan likely to play tri-series in Bangladesh

Cricinfo staff

Nasim Ashraf is confident that Pakistan will fill up the itinerary gaps caused by Australia's pullout from their tour in March-April © AFP

Pakistan's efforts to fill up their international calendar after Australia's withdrawal from their March-April tour have received a boost with their participation in a possible tri-series to be held in Bangladesh in June.

Though the schedules are tight - the Indian Premier League (IPL) ends on June 1 and the Asia Cup begins on June 24 - the tournament is likely to be held in Dhaka before the Asia Cup and will involve India and hosts Bangladesh.

"In the beginning of June, there is a potential tri-series with Bangladesh and India in Dhaka," Nasim Ashraf, the Pakistan board chairman, told Cricinfo. "Tentative dates for it are from June 8-15, though it is not yet confirmed."

Several complications lie in wait. Another tri-series, in Bangladesh, involving India and South Africa, has also been mooted in June, though that is yet to be confirmed. And Pakistan are also trying to fix dates on a series of ODIs with Sri Lanka at some point in June; the series was originally proposed for April-May, but there's a doubt due to the clash with the IPL.

In either case, the Pakistan board is confident that they will make up for the absence of the world champions. Bangladesh are due to visit at the start of April for a series of ODIs, after which the Asia Cup and then the ICC Champions Trophy are scheduled to be staged in Pakistan.

"Australia not coming was unfortunate," Ashraf said. "But we are confident that we have enough cricket lined up this summer to make up for it. There is a lot of cricket on the calendar now."