Pakistan will play their 'home series' scheduled for later this season against Sri Lanka and England in the UAE, the PCB has confirmed. With security concerns keeping teams from travelling to Pakistan, the UAE been chosen to host the series, ahead of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
"Both [the series against Sri Lanka and England] will be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai," PCB's director operations, Zakir Khan, told AFP. "We did consider a number of options for both the series, but it is the right of the home board to decide the venue and, finally, we have confirmed UAE for all matches in both series."
Pakistan will play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in October-November 2011. The itinerary for the England series will be "finalised soon" and will reportedly feature three Tests, up to five ODIs and one or two Twenty20 games in January-February 2012.
The UAE has hosted a succession of Pakistan's limited-overs commitments over the previous three years and last October, a full series, including Tests, against South Africa. Authorities in the UAE earlier voiced their desire to sign a long-term agreement with Pakistan to host their 'home' matches, something the PCB was unwilling to do because they believed it pushed the prospect of a full return of international cricket to Pakistan back further.
Afghanistan, who played against Pakistan A in May this year, were the first international team to tour Pakistan since March 2009, when the touring Sri Lanka team were shot at in Lahore. That attack, on the back of growing security concerns over the previous two years, brought an end to international cricket in the country, taking away the 2011 World Cup in the process.