Dubai: Within a few weeks after the conclusion of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the UAE, the fans here will be able to watch a evenly contested one-day series between Pakistan and Australia.
The five-match series will commence on March 22 in Sharjah and conclude on March 31 at the Dubai International Stadium.
Pakistan is ranked fifth on the ICC ODI team rankings while Australia is in the sixth place with just two points behind and the series is being billed as a tune-up to the ICC World Cup later this year.
Sarfraz Ahmad has already been confirmed as the captain of the Pakistan team for the World Cup and efforts are on to find the right players for the different slots.
The two sides are scheduled to clash on June 12 in a World Cup league match at Taunton.
Announcing the One-day series schedule with Australia, PCB Director Cricket — International, Zakir Khan said: “Australia are the world champions and this series will provide the Pakistan cricket team an opportunity to assess their Word Cup preparations.” All the matches will be day-night affairs with Dubai and Sharjah hosting two matches each and Abu Dhabi hosting the remaining one.
Incidentally, Pakistan cricket authorities admitted to scheduling all five ODIs in the UAE after the Aussies refused to visit the Asian country over security fears.
PCB had invited Australia to play two of the five ODIs in Pakistan to further their attempts to revive international cricket at home, suspended since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009. Cricket Australia (CA) acted on their government’s advice not to tour Pakistan — leaving Pakistan disappointed.
“The PCB was optimistic that it will be able to convince Cricket Australia to send its side for some matches after successfully staging high-profile bilateral international series and the HBL Pakistan Super League matches in the past 18 months. But, we are disappointed for the enthusiastic and passionate cricket fans in Pakistan who will now have to wait for some more time before they can see the Australia cricket team live in action for the first time since 1998,” added Khan.