Pakistan to host Sri Lanka in UAE

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday said it would be playing its second home series of this season against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates in December and January.

The PCB has already announced that its first series of the season against South Africa which will also be played in the UAE -- Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in October-November.

Both the teams have refused to play in Pakistan because of security concerns that have led to Pakistan not being able to host any Test team since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

"It is a tough situation for us at the moment because not being able to host Test teams at home is obviously eating away our profits," PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad said.

He made it clear that Pakistan preferred to host its home series at venues in the UAE because of the low costs and similarity in playing conditions.

A reliable source said that the PCB was also trying to cover most of its costs of hosting both series in the UAE by setting a high reserve price for sale of its title and ground rights.

"The PCB is expecting an income of around USD 1.5 million from the sale of title and ground rights for both the series," the source said.

The PCB will also earn substantially from sale of its broadcasting rights for both the series which are being sold on series-to-series basis after the four-year contract with broadcasters, Ten Sports expired earlier this year.

"It is not an ideal situation but we have to keep meeting our commitments at the international level," another official said.

The PCB has already released the itinerary for their series against South Africa that includes two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 matches in October-November.

The PCB also announced that prior to the Sri Lanka series, Pakistan will play a official T20 match against Afghanistan on December 8.