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May 12, 2012
Pakistan are searching for alternate venues for their limited-overs series against Australia later this year after Sri Lanka backed out of hosting it. The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) is scheduled to be held in August, clashing with the dates of the proposed Pakistan-Australia series.
"We are looking for other venues to host Australia," Subhan Ahmed, the PCB's chief operating officer, told ESPNcricinfo. "We were in negotiations to finalise Australia series in Sri Lanka but due to their Premier League which is to be held in August directly clashing with our plan, we have to find another venue."
In March, the Sri Lanka board had agreed in principle to host the series. At that time, there had been no decision on the SLPL. The proposed first season of the league had been cancelled last year and it was only earlier this week that a new deal was signed by the Sri Lanka board to hold the SLPL this August.
Nishantha Ranatunga, the secretary of SLC, explained the decision to pull out was because of the amount of cricket being played in Sri Lanka. "We will not have enough grounds and facilities with the SLPL being played. That is one reason," he told ESPNcricinfo. "Also, if we are playing too much cricket, the wickets will not be in good condition for the World T20 (in September)."
The Pakistan-Australia series was scheduled to comprise five one-dayers and three T20Is to help the sides prepare for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. Pakistan had originally considered Australia and South Africa among the venues to host the series.
Pakistan have had to play their home series in neutral venues since an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. The UAE has been their location of choice recently; they played a full series against England there earlier this year.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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