PCB announces schedule for Pakistan-Australia ODI series

  • Pakistan are currently ranked fifth on the ICC ODI team rankings, while Australia are sixth - just two points behind
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LAHORE – The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday announced the schedule for a five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia set to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month.

The ODI series will kick start in Sharjah on the 22nd of March. Sharjah will also host the second ODI while the third game will be played in Abu Dhabi. The last two matches of the series will be played in Dubai.

Pakistan are currently ranked fifth on the ICC ODI team rankings, while Australia are sixth – just two points behind.


Schedule:

March 22: 1st ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
March 24: 2nd ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
March 27: 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi (d/n)
March 29: 4th ODI, Dubai (d/n)
March 31: 5th ODI, Dubai (d/n)


According to a PCB press release, the series is part of preparations by both sides for the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, where Australia will defend the title. The two sides are set to face each other at the World Cup on June 12 in Taunton.

“Australia are the world champions and this series will provide the Pakistan cricket team [with] an opportunity to assess their World Cup preparations,” said PCB Director International Zakir Khan.

In January, the PCB was informed that Australia would not be coming to Pakistan for the ODI series after the Pakistan side attempted to renew talks with Cricket Australia (CA) to convince them to play at least two of the matches in Pakistan.

“The PCB was optimistic that it would 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,” the press release quoted Khan as saying.

“However, the CA has confirmed that they will send their security expert to oversee the execution of security plans for the HBL PSL 2019 matches and bilateral series against other international sides in Pakistan, 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.

Lahore hosted the ICC World XI, also comprising Australia Test captain Tim Paine and fast bowler Ben Cutting, in September 2017 (refereed by Sir Richie Richardson of the ICC panel). A month later, Sri Lanka played a T20I at the same venue. In April 2018, Karachi was the venue for three-T20I series between the Windies and Pakistan (refereed by David Boon of the ICC panel). Last month, the Windies women’s team played three T20Is against Pakistan women’s team in Karachi.

The inaugural edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League in 2016 was played in the United Arab Emirates, but the 2017 final was held in Lahore. Lahore and Karachi shared three matches between them in 2018, while eight matches are scheduled in the upcoming event which commences 14 February.