Finally the PCB Chaudharys have decided to go to Dubai. They raised the decades old slogan “Dubai Chalo” after being bullied by the ICC and the SNPC’s (super nations playing cricket ).
In the past too they had to move the games to neutral venues to accommodate Australians and played against them in Sharjah. But, since then they have more options and Abu Dhabi Cricket Stadium has already hosted a few ODI’s but, the state of the art Dubai Sports City has built a 25,000 seating capacity most modern cricket stadium in the world. They can play night cricket in Dubai.
I am not sure how many of you remember my comments on Pakspin when Kamran wrote that thread “ICL – IPL What the Hell?” I wrote that very soon you will be seeing “Arabian Nights Cricket in the UAE.” The Dubai government has now announced that the Sports City will be ready in early 2009 and already hosting an international hockey tournament. But, the most important news is about the PCB signing a three 3 year agreement with Dubai to host their ODI and twenty20 Internationals.
Here is the latest news right from the horses mouth. It has not even appeared on cricinfo yet.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has signed a three-year agreement to play its home one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches at the new Dubai Sports City.
The move comes with teams remaining reluctant to tour Pakistan because of concerns over terrorist attacks.
Pakistan, who have not played any Tests or ODIs against major teams this year have also invited West Indies to play two Test matches in Abu Dhabi.
The Emirate will also host three ODIs against the Windies in November.
Only minnows Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have played in Pakistan in 2008, while their last home Test series was against South Africa in October 2007.
The PCB has lost millions of dollars in revenue from the cancellation of matches and believe it is vital for cricket’s financial well-being to make use of the facilities in the Emirates.
Shafqat Naghmi, chief operating officer of the PCB, said the new £4.8m deal with Dubai Sports City “gives us the option of playing international cricket and also improves our financial health.”
The new 25,000 stadium in Dubai will initially host a series involving Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh next April and a series of Twenty20 matches against various teams.
The deal comes after failed attempts by Pakistan to convince teams to tour the country after a spate of bombings in recent months.
Pakistan had sought new opponents after the postponement of a Test tour by Australia and the ICC Champions Trophy, both because of security concerns, but had no takers.
Reuters news agency quoted “informed sources” who suggested the PCB will be paid £800,000 for each event in Dubai, as well as a £53,000 appearance fee to each player for every tournament played. ” Unquote.
Has the PCB done any good for the future of Pakistan cricket or not is a question that we all need to discuss here. So, please go ahead and write your comments.