ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan hope to play five ODIs v Sri Lanka


Pakistan are hoping to add five more One-day Internationals (ODIs) to their home season that was left in tatters following Australia’s decision to avoid the violence-hit country earlier this week.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told ‘The News’ on Thursday that efforts are on to convince World Cup finalists Sri Lanka to visit Pakistan in April to play a five-match ODI series.

Pakistan have already lined up five one-dayers and a Twenty20 International against Bangladesh with the series serving as a filler to the scrapped tour of Australia. The Aussies decided to stay away from Pakistan due to security concerns.

The Board official said that Bangladesh have confirmed their tour starting in the first week of April. ìWe want to add five more one-dayers to the home season and hopefully Sri Lanka will come here for an ODI series,î the official said.

A few weeks back a similar move by the PCB failed to yield desired results after Sri Lanka declined their invitation to play an ODI series in March because of a hectic international schedule.

PCB officials are working overtime to save their home season by lining up international games in a bid to avoid heavy financial losses. Another reason behind hosting top teams like Sri Lanka is to pave the way for the Asia Cup which is scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan from June 25 to July 6.

More importantly, Pakistan wants to have non-stop international cricket in the country over the next few months in a bid to keep the 2008 ICC Champions Trophy here. The tournament is scheduled for September but has come under a cloud following Australia’s withdrawal from this month’s tour.

There are fears that the world champions who are also the Champions Trophy title holders might also stay away from the eight-nation tournament because of security concerns. Such a move could force other competing nations to follow suit.

But PCB is hoping that successful visits of teams like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the hosting of the Asia Cup would convince international cricket bosses that Pakistan is a safe place for international cricket.

Meanwhile, top PCB officials met in Karachi to discuss several issues pertaining to national cricket. The officials discussed the issue of allowing leading national cricketers to play for English counties.

A Board official said that the PCB has almost devised a policy regarding county cricket. He said that the policy will be ‘player-friendly’. The policy is to be announced during the Executive Board meeting later this month.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 14th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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