Pakistan to host Australia next year

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Lahore, Apr 1: After postponing their Pakistan tour due to fears over security, Australia is set to visit the troubled South Asian country next year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed today.

''I was supposed to visit Australia to discuss this issue but now there is no need to go there as I had very productive talks with the Cricket Australia (CA) authorities, who have shown keenness and confirmed their team's tour next year,'' Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf told The Post. Ashraf also announced that Pakistan will host the West Indies and New Zealand in two separate one-day series before the Champions Trophy in September this year.

''We have reached a verbal agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board and their team would visit Pakistan till August 15 while the New Zealand team will reach Pakistan on the same date to play ODI series and will stay in Pakistan till the ICC Champions Trophy 2008,'' Ashraf stated.

''We are working on it and will soon finalise all the formalities in this regard to create space to adjust these teams for their separate short trips, keeping in view the fact the Champions Trophy will be fast approaching at that time,'' he added.

Ashraf also revealed that the PCB is holding talks with Cricket South Africa (CSA) to arrange an ODI series after the conclusion of the Champions Trophy.

''We are in the process of discussion and want to host them (South Africa) after the Champions Trophy for a one-day series,'' he remarked. ''Nothing has yet been finalised in this regard.''

UNI

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