Pakistan likely to travel to India


Pakistan’s efforts to host India in a “home” series in England have suffered a setback. England, which was considered as a primary venue for the much-awaited series, will be replaced either by UAE, Malaysia or Sri Lanka, PCB chief Ijaz Butt said on Sunday.
“We can’t have the series in England since they will be hosting the Olympics next year. Alternatively, we can play in UAE, Malaysia or Sri Lanka. The BCCI will take a decision on that,” Butt said. The PCB chairman said that Pakistan might even play the series in India despite the cramped schedule of the reigning ODI champions. In a bid to improve their finances, the PCB has even agreed to split the series comprising three Tests, one T20 and five ODIs into two parts.
“We have given the BCCI the option of splitting the series. They can play part of the series now and the other half later. A full home series of three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 is due. As the FTP states we’re ready to play India in March-April 2012, but before that we want our series to be played,” Butt said. “We have offered that we would love to play in India, but we have also requested them to play the ODIs in Pakistan. We have left it for India to decide,” he added.
Pakistan toured India in 2007 but the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks forced India to cancel their tour of Pakistan next year. The PCB’s depleted coffers were further hit after the 2009 terror strike on the Sri Lankan cricket team. Pakistan turned into an international no-go zone and were forced to host teams at neural venues.
“We have been hosting other countries at neutral venues and feel hosting India, too, will not be a concern. The problem is that the governments have felt the need to heal the wounds through cricket. We will be more than happy to play in India and it would be a grand gesture if India play the ODIs in Pakistan,” Butt said.