PCB waits for confirmation from SLC on UAE series
Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board is still awaiting a written approval from the Sri Lankan cricket authorities on the forthcoming series between the two countries in the United Arab Emirates.
A top board official said that while they had spoken to the current interim cricket committee members in Sri Lanka but a written approval is awaited after which the MOU for the series would be signed.
"We explained the situation to them and they had no objection to having the series in the UAE, so, as far as we are concerned it is a go ahead and we have already started preparations for the matches in October-November," the official said.
There was some confusion created last month when the newly-appointed chairman of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee Upali Dharmadasa said in an interview that the venue for the series had not been confirmed.
"We haven`t been informed of venues for the series yet. In fact the other day, I read on BBC website that series was confirmed to be played at Abu Dhabi. I learnt about it only then. We are going to discuss this matter at our Interim Committee meeting and then only we can communicate with the PCB and finalize the venues," Dharmasena had said.
But the PCB official said they had held talks with the present interim committee in SL and informed them the venues were finalised with the previous management.
"A PCB delegation has already been to the UAE to inspect the venues, hotels and other arrangements and we are now just waiting to sign the MOU with the Sri Lankans," he said.
He confirmed that there was rapid renovation work going on at the Sharjah stadium and the PCB delegation had inspected it in detail.
"The stadium is being renovated and upgraded very fast and should be complete in a month`s time. We will have no problems playing a Test either against Sri Lanka or England in Sharjah when it is ready," the PCB official added.
He said there is doubt that the series with Sri Lanka would be held in the UAE.
"A lot of things have been cleared up and the MOU will be signed soon. The UAE provides ideal neutral venues for our `home` matches and it has become a virtual second home for us and is also cost effective for us," the official said.
Pakistan plays three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 matches against Sri Lanka in the UAE after the Lankans refused to tour Pakistan because of security reasons.