UAE ready to host India-Pakistan cricket series

UAE ready to host India-Pakistan cricket series
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Published March 14th, 2015 - 20:30 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Dubai's International Cricket Stadium (picture courtesy of telegraph.co.uk)
Dubai's International Cricket Stadium (picture courtesy of telegraph.co.uk)

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are gearing up to play a high-profile series in the UAE this December as the cricket boards of both nations have been holding discussions during the ongoing World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Mazhar Khan, Administrator of the Emirates Cricket Board and the manager of the UAE team participating in the World Cup, told Gulf News: “It is indeed wonderful news for UAE cricket fans that the two boards are in discussion for a series in the UAE.”

With December the most likely time for the series to be held, would the UAE be keeping its venues ready without committing to any other engagements? “Our venues are ever-ready to host such high-profile series,” Mazhar said.

In 2014, the UAE made its major venues — Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Dubai International Cricket Stadium and Shaikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi — available at short notice when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wanted to host a succession of Indian Premier League matches there.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan flew to India for a five-day visit recently and held discussions with newly elected BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya and even met some government officials to gain clearance for such a series.

Shahryar, who is a former diplomat, has the acumen to handle government officials as well as cricket officials.

Shahryar has told the BCCI that the matches will be staged in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. And with the UAE having played in the World Cup, there is a chance the hosts may also get to play against the two teams.

Though the security situation in Pakistan has improved, no cricketing nations are yet ready to play a series there. But Shahryar asked India to send their women’s or A team to play in Pakistan.

The BCCI’s newly elected secretary Anurag Thakur confirmed talks with Shahryar. “During our talks we raised the issue of the Pakistan-India series. We just initiated the talks and he initiated his viewpoint and he talked about the discussions held with the previous office bearers. He was interested in starting the Indo-Pak series.”

It is understood that India and Pakistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the two nations will play 12 Test matches, 30 One Day Internationals and 11 Twenty20 matches spread over eight years.

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