Australia and Pakistan to play five ODIs in UAE
Australia will play five ODIs and a Twenty20 against Pakistan in the UAE between April 22 and May 7. The first two ODIs will be played in Dubai and the rest in Abu Dhabi, with the teams returning to Dubai for the Twenty20 game, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Friday.
The Australians, currently in South Africa, will fly directly Dubai after the fifth ODI of the tour, in Johannesburg on April 17, Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman said.
Australia had cancelled their tour of Pakistan in the wake of the heightened violence in March 2008, and were expected to visit the country separately for the ODI and Test series this year. Venues in England, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai had been considered as alternatives in a discussion with Cricket Australia officials on the sidelines of an ICC executive board meeting late last month.
The PCB had turned down the offer to stage the matches at a neutral venue when CA initially expressed their reluctance to tour last year. Butt had said there was a possibility of hosting the Test series against Australia at neutral venues as well. "If Australia do not play the Tests in Pakistan there is a possibility of playing the Test series in England," he said.
Australia have not played in Pakistan since 1998. In 2002, due to security concerns, a three Test series between the two sides in Pakistan was shifted to Colombo and Sharjah.
April 22: First ODI at Dubai
April 24: Second ODI at Dubai
April 27: Third ODI at Abu Dhabi
May 1: Fourth ODI at Abu Dhabi
May 3: Fifth ODI at Abu Dhabi
May 7: Twenty20 at Dubai