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fwullah
August 16, 2002, 11:54 PM
Bangladesh was ruled out as one of the options for neutral venue for holding Pakistan vs Australia test series.

Source: Daily Star Sports.

fwullah
August 17, 2002, 01:43 AM
Colombo, Sharjah to stage Aussie Tests
Special Representative - 16 August 2002

Pakistan has agreed to play its home Test series against Australia this October at two neutral venues. The first Test will be played in Colombo while the remaining two will be played in Sharjah.

The decision was taken Thursday after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) received the support of the national players, the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) and Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL).

Bangladesh was ruled out as one of the possible venues at the request of the Pakistan players who argued that they would feel more at ease playing in Sharjah which they consider as their second home.

The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) had given a free hand to pick the venues between Oct 1 and 29 for any number of Tests or One-day Internationals. The Australians were scheduled to tour Pakistan but cancelled the trip citing players security. However, the PCB preferred Tests over a proposed tri-nation one-day series also involving Zimbabwe besides the two teams. The argument given was that Pakistan cannot ignore five-day cricket.

The CBFS had offered to host a triangular one-day series under lights that would have helped the PCB generate more revenue than the Test series through television rights and sponsorships. The Sharjah officials had also advised the PCB that the temperature would range between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius and the humidity would be more than 90 per cent in October. However, the PCB is believed to have succumbed to TransWorld International (TWI)'s pressure who have the television rights with their contract expiring in March 2003.

The TWI pressurised the PCB because according to the contract they have signed, they don't have the tournament rights. And had the PCB decided to go ahead with the tri-nation series and that too in Sharjah, it would have been in a position to negotiate with various broadcasters, including Ten Sports who are likely to get the contract for next five years.

Dawn