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UAE may stage Pakistan-South Africa series

Country to step in again if Proteas rule out playing in Pakistan

Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE is likely to stage a Test series between Pakistan and South Africa in October this year, a source at the Pakistan Cricket Board has told Gulf News.

The teams have just completed a three-match series in South Africa, where the hosts completed a whitewash with an innings win in Centurion on Sunday.

They are due to meet again in Pakistan later this year for two Tests, five One Day Internationals and three Twenty20s, according to the ICC’s Future Tours Programme.

But Pakistan haven’t hosted any international cricket matches since the 2009 terror attack on a Sri Lanka team bus.

Instead the team has made the UAE a second home, playing the majority of its matches here over the last four years and in the process making Dubai Cricket Stadium, the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Cricket Stadium Test venues.

And now a source at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has told Gulf News: “We would like to stage the Test series in Pakistan as our country is always our first choice. However, under the present circumstances this series is likely to be held in UAE.”

After the series defeat to South Africa, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said the boycott of his country by international sides is hindering their chances of becoming the leading Test nation.

And although South Africa skipper Graeme Smith expressed his sympathy for Pakistan’s plight, he admitted he would choose not to tour Pakistan if a proposed visit was put forward.

“I obviously sympathise with their situation. I have been to Pakistan five times in the past, but I would have serious concerns as to my safety going there under present circumstances,” he said.