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India-Pakistan three-match ODI series in UAE?

Saturday, 12 April 2014 - 10:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

These are only whispers, but India could face Pakistan in a three-match ODI series in early 2015. Given that the Pakistan Cricket Board has conditionally approved the proposals of the 'Big Three' in the

International Cricket Council, it stands to benefit in terms of bilateral deals with all full members, especially the Board of Control for Cricket India. Even though a top official expressed the BCCI"s desire to stage the series in India, it is understood that the UAE could be a beneficiary.

"There is no scope to hold any more matches in 2014 as we have a packed calendar. But we are looking at 2015. There is a small window between the series in Australia and the World Cup (Australia and New Zealand)," the official told dna on Friday. "The BCCI is keen on hosting Pakistan, but we can't do that without the permission of the Centre. In any case, we don't know who will head the next government. However, we can stage these matches in a neutral venue. Nobody can stop us from doing that," he added.

On Thursday, Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Cricket Club chief executive David East said that hosting the first leg of IPL-7 could pave the way for an India-Pakistan series in the UAE. "I think it is going to be a water-shed moment, really. We have been hosting a huge number of international cricket matches here in the last 12 months and for the last 10 years. But this is probably the biggest thing that has ever happened in terms of a single cricket event and the biggest thing to ever happen in the UAE. It is going to be a remarkable experience," he was quoted as saying in Dubai-based dailies.

The Englishman added that putting up a good show could hold the UAE in good stead. "We have not had any discussions with the BCCI, but we would love to host the Indian team here in the UAE," he told dna on Friday. Asked if he fancied an Indo-Pak series, East said, "I hope it happens."

Over the next two weeks or so, East and his men want to show the BCCI — and the world — that they can stage big-ticket cricket in style. Ever since that dastardly incident involving Sri Lankan cricketers at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in 2009, the UAE has hosted Pakistan's 'home' matches against Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies. The dazzling desert kingdom has also hosted the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers and the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

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