Pakistan may play 33 ODIs within ten months

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan on Tuesday announced a hectic international calendar for the national cricket team that would play eight Tests and 20 one-dayers within a span of just over six months.

The Pakistanis will be playing against three of the world’s top teams — South Africa, India and Australia between October and March at home and away.

Pakistan may play a total of 33 one-dayers from July 2007 to April 2008 (when they host the Asia Cup) if they made it to the final of the triangular event in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup.
The schedule announced by the Board also includes details of Pakistan ‘A’ and Under-19 team’s assignments over the next 12 months.

Pakistan will warm-up for the season with a couple if one-day games against Scotland and India in Scotland early next month. They would later feature in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa from September 12-24. The Board has announced that Pakistan will figure in a Twenty20 tournament either in Toronto or Nairobi in August to warm-up for the Twenty20 World Cup.

Zakir Khan, PCB’s Director Cricket Operations, said that the schedule has been released by the Board in advance so that the national cricketers and selectors can make plans accordingly.
Zakir, a former Test cricketer, said that the next home season is of ‘exceptional importance’ to the national team, pointing out that Pakistan will host two of the cricket’s world’s top teams — South Africa and Australia. Pakistan will also host Zimbabwe for a one-day series in January-February apart from hosting the Asia Cup in April-May.

Pakistan will host the South Africans for two Tests and three one-dayers in October this year. Towards the end of the season, Australia will tour Pakistan in March-April to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals (ODIs) and a Twenty20 game. It would be the first Twenty20 international on Pakistani soil.

Between the two home assignments, Pakistan will tour India for three Tests and five one-dayers during November-December.

Also included in the schedule is a triangular tournament to be held in May in Bangladesh involving Pakistan, India and the hosts.

With an eye on the 2008 Junior World Cup, the Board has also chalked out an extensive calendar of activities for the Pakistan under-19 team. Pakistan will defend the title in the Under-19 World Cup to be held in Malaysia from February 17 to March 2.

The Under-19 cricketers would tour England from July 25 to August 25. They would later play against Australia’s Under-19 team at home from September 1-13. The Bangladesh Under-19 squad would tour Pakistan from November 7-27 and later the Pakistani juniors will pay a return tour to Bangladesh during January-February just before the Under-19 World Cup.

Pakistan’s A team also has an international assignment assignments coming up this season. Australia A will tour Pakistan for a series from September 1-23.

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