Pakistan-Australia Test series set to be shortened

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“Our expectation will be that it will be in the UAE, and my expectation is that it won’t be three Test matches, it will probably be two Test matches and a combination of one-dayers”

The Test series during Australia’s tour of Pakistan in October is set to be shortened from three Tests to two due to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) desire to include some limited overs fixtures.

According to reports, the PCB are looking to replace the third Test with three ODIs and a one-off Twenty20 International.

It is also understood that the series will take place in the United Arab Emirates.

“Our expectation will be that it will be in the UAE, and my expectation is that it won’t be three Test matches, it will probably be two Test matches and a combination of one-dayers,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland told ABC radio. “Perhaps with a view to the fact there’s a World Cup here in Australia and New Zealand in February and March 2015.

“It’s the hosts’ call on that and we’ll work as closely as we can with them, there’s a reciprocal arrangement, we wouldn’t like to be playing a series of less than three but that’s their choice how they balance that, and at the end of the day, Pakistan are not able to host international cricket in Pakistan, their commercial viability is really affected by that, so we respect their position and the decisions they need to make there.”

However, Sutherland believes that Australia will suffer in the long run if they continue to play two-Test series.

“The programme is a real challenge, there’s no doubt for us as administrators it is one of the most difficult things we do and we often talk about it in the context of being a three-dimensional game of chess,” Sutherland said. “Unlike other sporting codes we don’t have a unilateral ability to work out what our programme might be, we have to see what’s going on in other parts of the world, what country is playing where and how. And we need to work out the international programme and then work out the best we can from the domestic programme.”

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