Pakistan announce ODI series schedule against Australia

Warner Smith bans to expire during Pakistan series

Pakistan-Australia ODI series to begin on March 22 - Cricbuzz

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had invited Australia to play two of the five one-day internationals in Pakistan to further their attempts to revive worldwide cricket at home, suspended since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

Sharjah will host the first two ODIs on March 22 and 24 while the fourth and fifth ODIs will be played at Dubai on March 29 and 31, respectively.

The PCB were hoping that they could convince Australia to play a few matches of the ODI series in Pakistan, but now they will all be played in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai from March 22-31.

The series against Pakistan is also in continuation for Australia along with the India tour where they will play two T20Is and five ODIs starting from February 24. Worldwide cricket was suspended in the country after an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

Smith and Warner are eligible to return to national duty on March 29, following 12-month suspensions for the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. But its timing is important because it could be the scene of the returns to worldwide cricket of Warner and - injury permitting - Smith. Smith though isn't expected to feature, still recovering from an elbow injury that also ruled him out of the Pakistan Super League.

PCB director Zakir Khan showed disappointment over Australia's refusal to tour.

CA does not expect there to be any lingering issues between Warner and Smith and all players when the two men return. At the time, the PCB insisted discussions were still ongoing and had asked CA to at least visit for a security recce.

Then he will need to complete a process CA has put in place where he and Steve Smith will need to front teammates, coaches and team management in a clearing-the-air session before they are welcomed back. "But we are disappointed for the enthusiastic and passionate cricket fans in Pakistan who will now have to wait for some more time before they can see the Australia cricket team live in action for the first time since 1998", the press release quoted Khan as saying.

"In the meantime, the CA have confirmed they will maintain regular contact with the ICC", Zakir added. A month later, Sri Lanka played a T20I at the same venue.

The series was followed by a Twenty20 between Sri Lanka and Pakistan before Karachi hosted the West Indies in April previous year. The PSL has also begun to move increasing numbers of matches to Pakistan since the 2017 final was held in Lahore.

In April 2018, Karachi was the venue for three-T20I series between the Windies and Pakistan.

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