Pakistan are in a desperate search for a neutral venue to host its ODI series against Australia after Sri Lanka backed out of hosting it. “We are looking for other venues to host Australia,” Subhan Ahmed, the PCB’s chief operating officer, told ESPNcricinfo.
“We were in negotiations to finalise Australia series in Sri Lanka but due to their Premier League which is to be held in August directly clashing with our plan, we have to find another venue.”
The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) will be played in Colombo and Pallekele from August 10 to 31 and will feature yet-to-be named world players, according to the Sri Lankan board.
The 24-match tournament will take place a few weeks before the World Twenty20 opens in Sri Lanka on September 18.
The SLPL was scheduled to be held in July last year but was put off due to what the organisers said was the unavailability of India’s top players who were on a tour of England in that period.
Meanwhile a Sri Lanka Cricket source speaking to the Sunday Times said that initially Sri Lanka Cricket had agreed to let the two countries conduct their series in the island. However with the SLPL – the Lankan T-20 domestic tournament which will also have some foreign stars being drawn to the same period, releasing venues for the Australia-Pakistan series would become a problem.
The SLC official also commenting on the detaining of a Sri Lankan official, at the immigration at a London Airport, said that the problem had been solved and the official was on his way back to the island.