PCB may rope in Sri Lanka as the third team

Published: Saturday, May 22, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Apprehensive about profits and viewer interest, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wants to spice up its engagements at home with minnows Zimbabwe by inviting Sri Lanka as the third team for a One-day series later this year.

PCB chief executive Rameez Raja said the Board was considering the move to invite Sri Lanka for a triangular One-day contest instead of the planned five-match One-day series against Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe is scheduled to tour Pakistan in October to play five One-dayers and two Tests. But there is a proposal from many quarters, and which has also interested our television rights holders, that we invite Sri Lanka for a triangular series," he was quoted as saying by The News.

Sources said PCB feared that Zimbabwe, because of the ongoing crisis involving white players and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU), could end up sending a second-string side. In such an event, the series would not be financially viable for PCB.

Rameez said Sri Lanka was being considered since it was the only team that was free of international commitments in the given period.

"But we have yet to discuss things with them and there is still plenty of time left," he added.Sri Lanka is already scheduled to tour Pakistan in March 2005 to play a Test series immediately after Pakistan returns home from Australia in February.

Rameez said that so far Pakistan's confirmed international commitments included the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka between July 15 and August 2, the triangular series with India and Australia in Holland in August, the ICC Champions Trophy in England in September, the home series against Zimbabwe and then the tour of Australia from early December followed by the home series against Sri Lanka in March.

"We have some free time in between these events but we have kept them open because we are expecting the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) to have a tournament in Sharjah around November this year," he said.

He said Pakistan and Australia were also due to play a one-off match at Lord's before the start of ICC Champions Trophy in England.

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