Dubai: Sri Lanka likely venue for the much-awaited Indo-Pak bilateral cricket series and an official announcement may be made on November 27.
While BCCI made it clear that they will not play in the United Arab Emirates and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) refusing to play in India, the only feasible option left was the island nation, which will act as the neutral venue.
The proceedings had been fast-tracked once BCCI president and current ICC chairman Shashank Manohar met PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and senior official Najam Sethi in presence of ECB supremo and chairman of ‘Pakistan Task Force’ Giles Clarke.
“Since PCB will need the permission of Nawaz Sharif before going official, Shaharyar Khan will need to go back to Islamabad and seek the Prime Minister’s permission. Once he gets the green light from the PM, he will again come back to Dubai and intimate his decision to Clarke. Clarke is likely to officially announce the series on November 27,” the source told.
It has been learnt that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and they seem to be keen to host the series.
The two stadiums earmarked for the series are Khettarama (R Premadasa Stadium) and Pallekele (Kandy). While the receding monsoon has hit the island nation badly, the weather forecast for the last part of December looks good.
While some T20 matches are scheduled at the Khettarama, the SLC will reschedule them at the first notice, once the official announcement is made.
This will be the first time that a Test playing nation has rejected playing a series in the UAE since it became Pakistan’s adopted home after the 2009 Lahore attacks.
BCCI president Manohar is very much against India playing international matches in UAE. In fact Manohar was also a vocal critic when the first part of IPL was shifted to the UAE last year due to the general elections.