Ending days of confusion, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has finally confirmed that it will go ahead with the UAE tour as planned where it will take on Pakistan.
SLC’s interim committee puzzled the Pakistan board as well as the Emirates Cricket Board after announcing that they had not confirmed UAE as the venue and were in the process of persuading Pakistan to play in Sri Lanka instead. However, SLC spokesman Brian Thomas confirmed that the series, which will be hosted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), will go ahead as planned.
Upali Dharmadasa, SLC interim committee chairman, had said that the committee will ponder over the venues before finalising them, leaving PCB officials, who had already started preparations for hosting the series, shocked.
“Sri Lanka will play the Pakistan home series in the UAE,” Thomas told The Express Tribune. “The series will go ahead as planned and the SLC has no intention to bid for a change in venues.”
The series includes three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and a Twenty20 that will start from October 15.
Sharjah yet to get approval
Meanwhile, Sharjah’s cricket stadium, which has not hosted a top-flight international for a few years, is yet to get the PCB’s approval as venue for the forthcoming series.
A PCB official said that although Sri Lanka had no issues playing in Sharjah, the stadium needed renovation to attain international standards.
“The PCB sent a team and that pointed out the need of facilities, asking the management to bring improvements in the conditions of the stadium,” said the official. “There is still time and hopefully things will be sorted out that may make Sharjah as one of the venues for the series.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.