Dubai, Abu Dhabi emerging as new centers of sub-continental cricket

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London, Mar.8 (ANI): Last Tuesday's terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore could lead to Dubai and Abu Dhabi becoming the "home" venues for the subcontinent's cricket-playing countries.

It would be the first time that Tests have been played regularly outside the ­traditional top cricket-playing countries, the Guardian reports.

Following last week's shootings, in which eight people were killed, and the Mumbai atrocities on November 26, 2008, there are serious doubts over the venues for the 2011 World Cup, which is due to be co-hosted by India, ­Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The ­forthcoming Twenty20 Indian ­Premier League is also under threat, as are a number of ­international tours.

Kevin Pietersen, who has signed for the Bangalore Royal Challengers, admitted last night that he might withdraw from the IPL.

Sean Morris, chief executive of the domestic players' union, the Professional Cricketers' Association, said: "I can't paint the entire subcontinent under one brush, but today everyone is asking about playing in that region, full stop."

Tim May, head of the global ­players' union, FICA, said: "The viability of ­playing there will certainly be guided by ­security experts. It's easy to have a knee-jerk reaction but the risk factor for holding [the World Cup] in this area has risen."

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarkesaid: "The answer is we should be able to consider anywhere. The Middle East - Abu Dhabi, Dubai - is a perfectly viable option."

International cricket has been played in the Gulf since 1983 and Sharjah, another Emirate, has hosted 198 one-day games, more than anywhere else, as well as four Tests.

The Gulf states have invested billions of dollars in building new cricket facilities and their ­population is made up largely of ­expatriate workers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are seen as safe havens should any of the subcontinent countries - or their opponents - wish to move fixtures. (ANI)

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