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April 21, 2008
Australia will fulfill their commitment to tour Pakistan by going there twice in two years, a joint statement from both boards said. The two legs will straddle the return series hosted by Australia in late 2009.
As expected, the five one-dayers and a Twenty20 will be played on the first trip starting next April, which will follow Australia's visit to South Africa. Australia will then return to Pakistan in August 2010 to play three Tests, with the final dates and venues to be agreed depending on each nation's Future Tours Programme (FTP) obligations.
The schedule means those currently involved in the IPL may be forced to miss the competition. "Playing [in Pakistan] probably inhibits players playing in the IPL [next year]," Cricket Australia's operations manager Michael Brown told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Under their contracts players have to make themselves available to play for Australia and so far we have not had any problems."
Australia, who haven't toured Pakistan since 1998-99, were due to go in March, but postponed the trip due to security concerns. "Although disappointed that the tour couldn't be completed as originally scheduled, the PCB is very pleased that the Australian team will come to play in Pakistan twice," the Pakistan Cricket Board's chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf said. "Our discussions with Cricket Australia showed both countries' strong desire to ensure the postponed matches were played in Pakistan." The PCB has also confirmed its tour to Australia at the end of 2009 for three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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