PCB announces schedule for ODI series against Australia

Ruben Hill
February 12, 2019

Sharjah will host the first two matches on 22nd and 24th of next month, followed by Abu Dhabi on 27th and Dubai on 29th and 31st.

"I think when (Pakistan become a top team) that happens, it can create a situation where India asks us to play a bilateral series", new PCB MD Wasim Khan said in a media interaction in Lahore.

CA has much to debate before his return.

Though a lot depends on their fitness with both the cricketers undergoing an elbow surgery recently. The team may not be traveling but CA will at least gain first-hand experience of the security protocols the PCB puts in place. This process will nearly certainly involve a mediator and has been led by interim high performance chief Belinda Clark.

He remains in the frame to return in time for the World Cup in May, although he is keen to play in the Indian Premier League, which also resumes on March 29. A process which began during the tenure of Zaka Ashraf continued until Najam Sethi's recent reign, during which the ICC rejected his case filed against the BCCI for dishonouring an agreement signed in 2013 to play seven bilateral series from 2014 to 2023.

But should he play in the UAE series, it could make for an awkward team dynamic as one batsman would immediately need to be dropped as soon as Warner returns.

The scheduling of the series has always been a subject of interest, partly because of the PCB's hopes of organising at least part of it in Pakistan, which would have meant Australia's first visit to the country in over 20 years.

This also will be an important series for Australia as it is the last series for them before the World Cup which is scheduled to commence on May 30 in England and Wales. Australia has won only three of its past 16 ODI matches.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had invited Australia to play two of the five one-day internationals in Pakistan to further their attempts to revive worldwide cricket at home, suspended since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

Khan said CA have confirmed that they will send their security expert to oversee plans during next month's eight PSL matches in Karachi and Lahore "and will also speak with the ICC-recommended PCB security consultant". "In the meantime, the CA have confirmed they will maintain regular contact with the ICC", he added.

Jon Pierik is a sports writer with The Age, focusing primarily on AFL football, cricket and basketball.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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