IPL forces Pakistan-Afghanistan series to shift to SL from UAE - GulfToday

IPL forces Pakistan-Afghanistan series to shift to SL from UAE


Both Afghanistan and Pakistan have played their home series in the UAE earlier. File

Afghanistan’s three-match ODI series against Pakistan has been moved to Sri Lanka after the UAE expressed unwillingness to play host due to forthcoming assignments in the country.

The UAE will host the remainder of the now suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 matches from Sept.19 to Oct.14 and will also co-host the T20 World Cup in the middle October-November with Oman.

“Yes, we will host the ODI series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka,” Afghanistan Cricket Board media manager Hikmat Hassan was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz on Saturday.

This will be the first bilateral series between the countries and will likely be played in Hambantota between Sept.1-5.

The matches will count towards the ICC ODI Super League in which Pakistan are fifth with 40 points and Afghanistan are eighth with 30 points.

The two teams have played each other four times and Pakistan have emerged victorious in all the four games.

Pakistan will be touring the West Indies from July 27 to Aug.24. They will play five T20 Internationals and two Test matches in the Caribbean.

IPL in the past has also affected International tours of the other. Last year also, IPL had to be accommodated, which left no window for the World Cup, which was postponed for a year.

The UAE have a proven record successfully staging the world class sporting event since the outbreak of coronavirus brought the world to its knees.

A resolute UAE defied the odds and showed the world ahead by hosting MMA fight, which was otherwise scheduled to be held in the US.

The successful staging of MMA fight at the Yas Island, featuring the stars like -- Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov – opened the floodgates as the UAE became the most sought after destination to stage the sporting events.

The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), AFC Champions League matches, FIFA World Cup qualifier, Asian Boxing Championships and the remaining matches of the suspended Pakistan Super League (PSL) were held in the UAE.

Meanwhile, the Indian cricket board’s plan to accommodate two more franchises in the IPL from 2022 season is likely to leave cricket boards around the world worried as an increase in number of teams will mean the tournament will be extended by 10-15 days to accommodate more matches.

The extended phase will overlap with Future Tours Programme (FTP). The International Cricket Council (ICC) has no official window for the IPL which means that teams playing series during IPL dates either have to make do without their IPL-bound players or they have to plan their series outside the IPL schedule.

“A lot of series are lined up in March and June 2022, the months in which the tournament (normally played across April and May) could be extended to in case of increase in the number of matches. That has to be taken into consideration,” said a former member of the IPL Governing Council.

The ICC, which has no dedicated window for the IPL since it is a domestic event, confirmed to IANS that the upcoming meeting of its Board will not have the extended IPL on its agenda.

It means that the boards will have to sort it out on their own. India and eight other countries, that send players to IPL, will be playing in the months of March, May and June next year as per the ICC’s 2018-2023 FTP.

Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, India, New Zealand and Afghanistan are scheduled to play international cricket in March 2022 while England and New Zealand are expected to play cricket in May, 2022. Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, India and England are scheduled to play in June and July. Although Pakistan, Netherlands, Ireland and Zimbabwe are also scheduled to play international cricket during the phase, their players don’t feature in IPL. Pakistan players are barred while other three teams’ players don’t generally find takers from IPL franchises.


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