Abu Dhabi willing to host Indo-Pak series

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Dubai, Nov 13 (UNI) Abu Dhabi is willing to step in as host for the upcoming India-Pakistan series scheduled to be held early next year if the former decides not to tour strife-torn nation.

A few days ago the Indian Government called off its five-match junior hockey series against Pakistan at the eleventh hour citing security concerns.

The Indian tour of Pakistan, starting on January 4, consists of one three-day match, three Tests, five one-dayers and one Twenty20 match. If security concerns persist, a neutral venue could be the alternative.

''We are available at short notice and we have informed Pakistan that it will be at no cost to them. I have also spoken to Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and have conveyed our willingness to the Pakistan Cricket Board,'' Abu Dhabi Cricket Club (ADCC) president Dilawar Mani told the Gulf News.

''It is premature to talk about this but should such a situation arise, we are willing to do what Pakistan and India want. It is up to the PCB to organise the telecast rights but that may not be a problem as India is a huge commercial market for the game,'' he said.

ADCC is currently organising the ongoing Fortune Cup between Pakistan and the West Indies.

He further added that ''We cannot speak to India and Pakistan will do it. But we have received a positive response from India regarding the staging of the Champions League in 2009.'' ''I spoke in general terms to Lalit Modi but it is for the general council of the Champions League to take a decision.

But we are extremely willing to host the Champions League,'' he said.

''Abu Dhabi is in a good time-line, which makes it a good venue and will suit India, Australia and Europe in terms of telecast timings,'' he added.

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