UAE offers to stage Pak’s upcoming ‘home series’ against Sri Lanka and England

Friday, October 29, 2010

KARACHI - A top official of the Emirates Cricket Board has offered Pakistan the chance of staging more of their home matches in the UAE before international cricket resumes in the troubled country.

Emirates Cricket Board Chief Executive Dilawar Mani said that he had offered Pakistan the chance to stage their series against Sri Lanka in the UAE next year, and then host England a year later, the Daily Times reported.

“We don’t want to be seen as opportunists, but since Pakistan are unable to stage their cricket at home, we want them to decide on their series against Sri Lanka and England before time so that we can prepare,” said Mani.

He also said he would meet with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt to decide on the future games.

“Abu Dhabi has come a long way in the last ten years as we have entered into an agreement with the MCC (Marylbourne Cricket Club) who staged the English season opener here earlier this year which was great,” Mani added.

He also noted that the Abu Dhabi Cricket Stadium was fast catching the attention of international teams.

“Abu Dhabi will stage ICC shield match between UAE and Namibia in December this year and then ICC Second Division cricket league next year, so we have been getting enough cricket and besides that we want Pakistan to play here regularly,” he said, adding, “English County teams are regularly using the Abu Dhabi Stadium for season warm-ups.”

Pakistan were forced to play their ‘home series’ in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as New Zealand and England had refused to tour them over security fears. Currently Pakistan is playing South Africa in a series shifted in the UAE.

Pakistan has become a virtual ‘no go’ zone for international cricket after terrorists’ attacks on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore last year which left seven players and an official injured besides killing eight people.

Following the attacks, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had also stripped Pakistan of their share of World Cup 2011 matches. (ANI)

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