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    UAE may host Pakistan-Australia ODIs

    PCB official Intikhab Alam said he would soon visit the UAE to finalise the venues.

    Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided in principle to conduct the upcoming ODI series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates, immediately after Eid which will be celebrated around August 22. Intikhab Alam, the PCB director (operation international cricket), said he would soon visit the UAE to finalise the venues.

    Alam was of the view that the series should be converted into a Twenty20 series of five or seven matches. "It won't be a bad idea and we will be speaking to ICC about this," he told reporters.

    PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf had suggested that India could also host the series before he left for Chennai to witness the IPL final on the invitation of the BCCI. But a senior PCB official said that discussions with the BCCI officials mostly revolved around the participation of a team from Pakistan in the Champions League, the appearance of Pakistani players in the next IPL and the restoration of bilateral cricket ties between the two countries. "The Indians have a busy schedule so the chances of Pakistan and Australia playing in India were not discussed," he said.

    The official also exuded confidence that in the coming weeks, especially at the ICC meeting in Kuala Lumpur next month, some progress would be made in the restoration of bilateral ties between the two countries. "It would be premature to say anything at this stage but we are expecting some positive results and the Indian board has taken the right decision of taking it one step at a time," he said.

    Zaka Ashraf on his return home told the media that he had had positive discussions with the Indians and they were also now preparing for a bilateral series whenever the busy schedule of both teams allowed this.