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, after the Aussies refused to tour Pakistan over safety concerns.
In January, the PCB was informed that Australia would not be coming to Pakistan for the ODI series after the Pakistan side had 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," a press release quoted PCB Director International Zakir 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.
According to the 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 Khan in the statement.
The series opener will be played in Sharjah on March 22, while the final is scheduled for March 31 in Dubai.
- 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)