4 Dec 2010

Pakistan to play home cricket games in China?

6:16 am on 4 December 2010

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering using China as a neutral venue for its international cricket events.

The official Xinhua news agency cited sources as saying that the board's director Javed Miandad had submitted a report to the PCB suggesting its management take special steps to finalise China as a neutral venue.

Pakistan became a no-go area for cricket's leading nations after an armed attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March last year killed eight people, and injured seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach.

Pakistan was due to host matches in next year's World Cup, but the attack on the Sri Lanka bus saw the tournament restricted to the three remaining Asian Test nations of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The security situation led Pakistan to play its home series against Australia in England this year.

In the last two years, the nation's home games have also been staged in the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

According to Xinhua, Pakistan will support China in its bid to host the 2012 Asia Cup in the southern city of Guangzhou, where the Asian Games recently concluded successfully with their first-ever cricket tournament.

Pakistani authorities say China's hosting of its first major international cricket event would pave the way for making it a neutral venue.