The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has requested the Australian and New Zealand boards to send their teams to Pakistan to play the T20 matches instead of the United Arab Emirates.
An official source in the Pakistan board told PTI that during the ICC meet in Kolkata late last month, PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi and COO Subhan Ahmad had held talks with the Australian and New Zealand officials.
“The two boards have been requested to play the T20 matches of their series in Pakistan to help support the PCB in bringing back international cricket to the country,” he said.
Pakistan will host Australia for three test matches and a T20 match in UAE in October followed by a series of three tests, five ODIs and three T20 internationals in November against New Zealand.
Last year, also the PCB managed to convince the Sri Lankan board to send its team to Lahore to play the final T20 match of a series in UAE, which went off successfully.
Before the Sri Lankan’s visit in late October, the PCB also hosted the ICC World Eleven for a three-match T20 series in Lahore while last month Pakistan played three T20 matches in Karachi against the West Indies.
“The PCB is trying to follow a slow and steady process to bring back international cricket fully to Pakistan,” the official said.
He said the Australian and New Zealand boards were reluctant because of security concerns but would look into the Pakistan request.
Giles Clarke, who heads the ICC’s special task force on Pakistan cricket submitted a positive report about international cricket returning to the country at the ICC board meeting in Kolkata.
Pakistan’s security arrangements for the matches against World Eleven, Sri Lanka, and West Indies and for the Pakistan Super League matches held in Lahore and Karachi earned praise from the board members and from independent reports of security experts.
Pakistan has lined up a total of 29 ODIs before next year’s World Cup in England and is keen to few of them being played at home.
PCB officials are also due to meet with the Emirates Cricket Board officials in Dubai this week to discuss Pakistan’s concern over having the T10 league in November or the planned Afghan league, when Pakistan will be playing its home series in UAE.
The PCB has threatened to move its home series from UAE to Malaysia if the ECB didn’t accept their demands but an insider said there was zero chance of this happening since when PCB officials visited Kuala Lumpur in March they realized that while T20 or ODIs could be held there but having a test match was not possible due to the rains and hot weather and other facilities.
“Most likely the series against Australia and New Zealand will be held in UAE,” he said.