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PCB struggles to find sponsors for ODI series against Aussies
Karachi, Mar 20 (IANS):
Published on 22 Mar. 2009 12:41 AM IST
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The Pakistan Cricket Board is facing problems finding sponsors for the one-day series against Australia scheduled in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from April 22. PCB chief operating officer Saleem Altaf said today the board was negotiating with some parties for title and co-sponsorship of the series. “There is no issue with the security arrangements for the series nor with the grounds. After the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore we ourselves want security arrangements to be of top priority for the series,” Altaf said. He claimed security plan was being finalised after consultations with Emirates cricket board and UAE authorities. “The fact is that the UAE government is offering us full support in organising the series which would be given a final shape soon.” The PCB had to shift the five-match ODI series and a Twenty20 international to Abu Dhabi and Dubai after Cricket Australia refused to send its team to Pakistan due to security concerns. The first two ODIs are in Dubai Sports City followed by matches in Abu Dhabi with the teams returning to Dubai for the T20 tie. Altaf said with a large expatriate Asian community in UAE the board was hopeful there would be enough interest in the series. He also informed the International Cricket Council had offered strong support to the PCB in the aftermath of the Lahore terror attack. “PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt is due to give a briefing to the ICC President and Chief Executive in Dubai on April 21 about the current situation in Pakistan cricket while the ICC executive board will also discuss measures to be taken to support Pakistan cricket at its meeting in Dubai on April 16 and 17,” Altaf said. He said the ICC was clear that Pakistan was an important part of the international cricket community and needs to play regular matches at neutral venues until the country`s security situation improves. “They support us playing at neutral venues rather than not playing at all,” Altaf added. He also mentioned the ICC had not responded to Pakistan`s written complaint against match referee Chris Broad over his comments on the security provided to Sri Lankan team when the attack took place in Lahore on March 3.

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