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Oz’s refusal forced Pakistan to play ODIs in UAE
February 11, 2019
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Karachi: Pakistan Cricket authorities were forced to schedule all five one-day internationals against Australia in the UAE after the Aussies refused to visit the Asian country over security fears.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had invited Australia to play two of the five one-day internationals in Pakistan to further their attempts to revive international Cricket at home, suspended since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

Cricket Australia (CA) acted on their government’s advise not to tour Pakistan where no Australian senior team has played since 1998 over security fears.

PCB director Zakir Khan showed disappointment over Australia’s refusal to tour.

“The PCB was optimistic that it will be able to convince Australia to send its side for some matches after successfully staging high-profile bilateral international series,” said Khan.

“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 Australia playing in our country.”

The five-match series will kick off both team’s preparation for the World Cup to be held in England from May 30-July 14.

Sharjah will host the first two matches on March 22 and 24 followed by matches in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and Dubai (March 29 and 31).

‘Aussies can defend WC’

Australia can successfully defend their World Cup title in England this year with Steve Smith and David Warner back in the fray, newly-appointed assistant coach Ricky Ponting said on Sunday.

His upbeat assessment comes despite the misfiring team losing its two most recent ODI series at home, to India and South Africa.

“Absolutely, I actually do,” said Ponting when asked in Melbourne if Australia could win the World Cup.

“India and England are probably the two standout teams right now but if you add Warner and Smith back into that lineup, I think that team looks as strong as any.”

Agence France-Presse

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