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Pakistan likely to play two test matches

cricket Updated: Oct 23, 2008 14:29 IST
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West Indies has offered to play Pakistan in two tests in neutral Abu Dhabi next month, a top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Thursday. "We hope the proposal materializes and we find some sponsor for the test matches," PCB's newly appointed chairman Ijaz Butt told the Associated Press.

"It will give our players an ideal opportunity to play some international cricket after a long layoff," Butt added. Pakistan has not played a test since December last year, when it drew against India at Bangalore.

Australia, which has not toured Pakistan for 11 years, postponed its scheduled tour to Pakistan earlier this year due to security reservations.

Pakistan's hosting of the limited-overs Champions Trophy was also postponed until next year because many teams were worried about security in Pakistan after a spate of bombings.

"We have to pay the West Indies Cricket Board (for the test matches) according to the ICC regulations and for that we are looking for sponsors," Butt said.

"The time is very short, but I am hopeful something positive will come out."

Pakistan is scheduled to play three one-day internationals against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates next month.

"If everything goes well, the test matches will be played shortly after the ODIs in Abu Dhabi," Butt said. This year, Pakistan blanked lowly-ranked Zimbabwe and Bangladesh 5-0 in home one-day series and also successfully organized the Asia Cup limited over tournament in June-July.

Should the tests against the West Indies go ahead, it will not be the first time that Pakistan had 'hosted' matches at a neutral venue.

After the Sept 11 terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, Pakistan played tests against the West Indies and Australia at Sharjah and Sri Lanka respectively.