PCB agree to host Australia in Sri Lanka

Pakistan’s home limited-overs series against Australia this August is likely to be played in Sri Lanka, with SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga and PCB director Intikhab Alam both saying they had agreed in principle to the arrangement. Cricket Australia’s stand has not been made public but it is understood to be aware of the plan. The Memorandum of Understanding has not yet been signed and Alam will travel to Sri Lanka next week to finalise arrangements.

“Sri Lanka Cricket had expressed the desire to host the series to the PCB a month ago and both boards have no problems with it. I do not know about the stand of the other cricket board [CA] yet,” Ranatunga told ESPNcricinfo.

Alam revealed that South Africa and Australia itself were the other two nations being considered as venues for the series, but Sri Lanka was selected for commercial and cricketing reasons.

Pakistan and Australia will play five ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals against each other. The original plan was to play just one Twenty20, but with the World T20 immediately after the series, the countries’ boards have agreed to play two extra matches.

Pakistan have had to play their home series in neutral venues since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009. While the UAE has been their location of choice recently, the scheduling of the Australia series just before the World Twenty20, which will be played in Sri Lanka, may have influenced the decision on where to play the five ODIs and one Twenty20 international.

Pakistan have hosted a Test against Australia in Sri Lanka before, in Colombo in 2002. Their last home series against Australia was played in England, in the summer of 2010, after which they have hosted all their home series, including one against Sri Lanka, in the UAE. (Cricinfo)