The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Sunday that the five-match one-day international (ODI) series between Pakistan and Australia will kick start in Sharjah on March 22, 2019. Sharjah will also host the second ODI while the third game will be played in Abu Dhabi. The last two matches of the series will be played in Dubai. Both Pakistan (fifth) and Australia (sixth) are separated by just one slot in the ICC ODI rankings and the series promises to be a dress rehearsal before the World Cup. All five matches are day-nighters.
The PCB had invited Australia to play two of the five ODIS in Pakistan in a bid to revive international cricket at home. But Cricket Australia (CA) acted on their government’s advise not to tour Pakistan where no Australian senior team has played since 1998 due to security concerns.
PCB director Zakir Khan expressed disappointment over Australia’s refusal and in a statement released said, “Australia are the world champions and this series will provide the Pakistan cricket team an opportunity to assess their Word Cup preparations.”
“The PCB was optimistic that it will 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,” Geo News quoted him as saying.
“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,” the statement added.
“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,” Zakir Khan added.
Australia’s ODI tour of the UAE (v Pakistan)
1st ODI – March 22 in Sharjah
2nd ODI – March 24 in Sharjah
3rd ODI – March 27 in Abu Dhabi
4th ODI – March 29 in Dubai
5th ODI – March 31 in Dubai