Australia and Pakistan are seeking permission from the Internet Cricket Council (ICC) to play the longest bilateral Twenty20 (T20) series ever played between two countries. The ICC has capped the number of T20 matches that can be played between in a bilateral series to three. Also, no team is allowed to play more than 15 T20s in a calendar year.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been forced to take this extraordinary step because of the circumstances in which it finds itself. Australia and Pakistan are slated to play a series consisting of five one-day internationals and three T20s in August. But finding a venue for the same has been a difficult task.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), considered a likely option, may be too hot at that time of year to play. Malaysia, the other option, may also be unsuitable for one-day internationals, which will have to start in the afternoon sunshine. As a solution to the situation, it was proposed that the one-day part of the series be reduced. ICC prevailing playing rules, though, require the PCB to seek permission to stage the five-match T20 series.
"Pakistan have had some issues with determining a venue for the series," Cricket Australia’s James Sutherland said. "Part of that, perhaps, relates to weather issues and challenges with heat, if it happens to be played in the UAE. It makes sense as a follow-up to that, if the matches are played there, in order to avoid the heat you reduce the number of one-day internationals you play, and you play Twenty20s.”
The longer series could also prove to be ideal preparation for both the teams before the T20 World Cup in September in Sri Lanka.