Abu Dhabi is ready to host an India-Pakistan series after its drive to attract high-profile sporting events brought it the final race in next year's Formula One championship, an official said Thursday.
India is scheduled to tour Pakistan early next year but the tour is already in doubt over security fears in the host country, raising the prospect of the series being played at a neutral venue such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dilawar Mani, the president of Abu Dhabi Cricket Club (ADCC), said the Emirates would be more than willing to host the India-Pakistan series if they were asked.
"Of course, Pakistan and India is a no brainer," Mani told AFP. "We would always do it if we are asked because we support cricket and Pakistan and India holds a special place here in many ways.
"People here are passionate about cricket and they would love to see Pakistan playing India," he said.
Abu Dhabi is currently hosting a three-match one-day series between Pakistan and the West Indies. Pakistan won the first match by four wickets on Wednesday in a thrilling last over finish.
The emirate also staged a two-match series between Pakistan and India in 2006, which was a huge success in terms of spectator turnout, attracting a large number of mostly Indian and Pakistani expatriates.
Mani said the UAE was well equipped to handle large sporting events.
"Abu Dhabi will host the final race of Formula One in November next year, we have tennis events lined up, rugby, football and other big sports in the UAE, so cricket is always welcome and Indo-Pak cricket is always a big thing.
"We are always there when we are asked to host qualifying leagues, World Cup qualifiers, Inter-Continental Cup, Asia Cup."
Mani said the Abu Dhabi government was very keen to promote sporting events.
"Abu Dhabi definitely has a vision of sports and let me reiterate when you speak of Abu Dhabi, this ground is built by the government which is a statement by itself," he said, referring to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Mani, also the president of Abu Dhabi Cricket Council, said a new stadium in Dubai would open further avenues for hosting cricketing events.
"From an Emirates perspective the Dubai Stadium will be on stream by early next year and it gives us more opportunities with two world class venues ready," said Mani, the brother of former International Cricket Council president Ehsan Mani.
Mani said the ICC had always helped cricket in Abu Dhabi.
"The ICC has always been supportive of spreading cricket, like they have gone as far as China. We haven't specifically applied for any particular event but should the need arise they have always extended their support."