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PCB ready to shift India series

Fearing that security concerns could lead to the cancellation of India's tour of Pakistan next year, the cricket board said it is ready to shift the series to neutral venues like Abu Dhabi, Dubai.

cricket Updated: Nov 13, 2008 20:24 IST

Fearing that security concerns could lead to the cancellation of India's tour of Pakistan next year, the cricket board in Karachi on Thursday said it was ready to shift the series to neutral venues like Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah.

Within hours, Abu Dhabi Cricket Council Chief Executive, Dilawar Mani, said they would be more than happy to host the high-profile series.

"If Pakistan is not able to host the Indians at home for some reasons, we will be willing to stage the matches free of cost," Mani said.

Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board's newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Saleem Altaf, said PCB would love to have the series in Pakistan but in case India refused to tour on security grounds, the board is open to hosting it at a neutral venue.

"So far we are confident and our policy remains to first try to keep on convincing teams to play as scheduled in Pakistan which we will also ask the Indians to do and hope they will do so," he said.

"(At the same time) we do not disregard the option of shifting the series to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah or some other country. England is also willing to play hosts for the Test and one-dayers, so we have options.

"The bottom line is that we need finances for the sport to survive and thrive in Pakistan and we can only earn money if we keep on playing international matches," Altaf said.

India is scheduled to visit Pakistan for three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 match but the cricket establishment is jittery here after the cancellation of the Indian junior hockey team's Pakistan tour this month on security grounds.