Lancashire bid to host Pakistan Tests
LONDON: Lancashire have confirmed they hope to stage Pakistan''s ''home'' Tests against Australia next summer. Discussions between the ECB, Cricket Australia and the PCB have been underway for Pakistan to ''host'' Australia for two Tests and two Twenty20s in England, but venues have yet to be confirmed.
"The ECB asked us about this and we have declared our interest," Jim Cumbes, Lancashire''s chief executive said a UK-based newspaper. "We have a great Asian population here. We have staged a World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford, so we know the interest Pakistan''s return would create."
The venues for the series are yet to be decided though cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham - traditionally home to large British Asian populations - are likely to be on any shortlist.
"Playing here would be good for us and our younger players," said Pakistan captain Younis Khan.
Australia were due to tour Pakistan for a full series in March 2008 but pulled out because of security concerns. The tour was postponed, but after the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team in March this year and the subsequent ICC move to take the 2011 World Cup away from Pakistan, international cricket within Pakistan is all but ruled out for the next few years. The PCB, therefore, is looking for ways to minimise the impact on its FTP and is actively looking at neutral venues where it can stage future home commitments.