Sri Lanka possible venue for India-Pakistan series

Dubai, Nov 23 (IANS) The chances of holding next month’s proposed India-Pakistan series have increased after the BCCI and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) held a meeting here with Sri Lanka emerging as a possible venue.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Mahohar and PCB chief Shahryar Khan met at the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters here on Sunday evening to discuss the fate of the series which has been thrown into uncertainty due to political tension between the two countries. England Cricket Board (ECB) president Giles Clarke was also present.

Although the details of the meeting are not known, PCB officials appeared satisfied with the outcome.

“We had a fruitful meeting in which Sethi was there, Clarke was there as facilitator,” Khan told mediapersons after the meeting. “We have also decided that there will be no further briefing. I am not in a position to say more than this.”

“PCB and BCCI officials had a fruitful discussion in ICC office Dubai facilitated by ECB’s Giles Clarke who will field all questions in matter,” senior PCB official Najam Sethi wrote on his Twitter handle.

It was also revealed that Sri Lanka has been decided as a venue and the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wanted the decision to be announced either by the BCCI or jointly with the PCB.

The series is scheduled from December 20 to January 3 with most of the matches to be played in Colombo, although Kandy was also considered in this regard.

“We will be more than happy to host high profile matches between India and Pakistan,” SLC chief Sidath Wettimuny was quoted as saying by the Lankan media on Monday.

Indications are however, that the series will only see limited-overs matches, with three ODIs and two Twenty20s.

The series was originally scheduled to be hosted by the PCB in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). But Manohar is reluctant to play matches in the UAE as he feels that the country’s reputation as a cricket venue has taken a serious hit due to allegations of betting and match-fixing. When the IPL was shifted to UAE last year, Mahohar had opposed the move.

The BCCI had invited the PCB to play the series in India, but the offer was rejected.

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