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Australia and Pakistan to clash in UAE

posted on 01/03/2009: 1942 views

The UAE has won the battle to host the cricket series between Pakistan and Australia in April.

The series, postponed last year because of Australian fears of playing in Pakistan, will be divided between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The capital will host three one-day matches and the new Dubai Sports City will stage two one-day matches and a Twenty20 contest.

The UAE is believed to have beaten competition from England, Ireland and Malaysia for the right to stage the series.

The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Ijaz Butt, met Cricket Australia board officials yesterday to finalise the details of the tour. They discussed options before deciding on the UAE.

"Cricket Australia is still keen to come and play in Pakistan but they have not got clearance from their government for security reasons,” Mr. Butt said.

"So we have agreed to have the five one-day matches and the Twenty20 game in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.”

Scheduling the series could be a problem, as the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament is due to be played in April and May.

Fifteen Australian players are to be auctioned today as the lucrative competition assembles its squads.

As a result, Australia is keen on playing Pakistan in the UAE in October, but it will probably be held to its original April commitment.

Cricket Australia seems reluctant to stop its players from earning huge sums in the IPL.

Australia has not played Pakistan "away” since 2002, and that was in a three-Test series in Colombo and Sharjah.

Mr. Butt said he would reveal the full details of the tour on his return to Pakistan tomorrow when the scheduling problems had been resolved.

The IPL runs from April 10 to May 24. Ricky Ponting's side will be in South Africa from Feb 20 to April 17 and the IPL rules stipulate that players must be available for a month. But the England players have received special dispensation as they are only available for three weeks, and the same could apply to the Australians.

The Pakistan players due to play in the IPL have been refused permission by their government, and have been banned from talking to the media about the decision.

"If the Australians want to play in IPL, that is their problem. It is certainly not ours,” said Saleem Altaf, the PCB chief executive.

Pakistan is also planning a tri-nation series with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as the inaugural tournament at Dubai Sports City before facing Australia. – The National


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