Karachi, May 19: Pakistan is examining the possibility of hosting its home cricket series against England in Sri Lanka early next year because of security concerns.
A senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Thursday that they were looking at Sri Lanka, or as a back-up, the United Arab Emirates as potential venues.
”While finalising the venues it will boil down to the cost factor,” said chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed. “We have got an offer from Sri Lanka to host the series and are looking at it.”
England also wants to play the scheduled series at a neutral venue because of the worrying security situation in Pakistan.
No foreign team has visited Pakistan since 2009 when in March of that year militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver.
Ahmed said that the PCB had to see where it could save on costs.
”We are already struggling because of not being able to host any international matches at home,” he said.
”But we need to carry on our obligations even at neutral venues. But cost is a big deciding factor for us.”
Pakistan has in the last two years played its one-day and test series against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Last year England hosted Pakistan's home tests against Australia.
Ahmad said the series against England was an important one and could yield significant revenues from sponsorship and other rights for Pakistan.
”Sri Lanka is keen but we have to see where we can get the best sponsors in Sri Lanka or the UAE,” he added.
Pakistan is also due to play a home series against Sri Lanka late this year but the venue is yet to be finalised.
Sri Lanka has said they are ready to play at home or any neutral venue.
After playing Sri Lanka in October-November, Pakistan goes to Bangladesh before hosting England.