1 Jun 2010

UAE to host test cricket

5:54 pm on 1 June 2010

The United Arab Emirates will host Test cricket for the first time later this year after Pakistan announced details of a series against South Africa.

In October and November, they will play a Twenty20 international, five one-day internationals and two Tests.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have staged ODIs and Twenty20 internationals before, but have yet to stage Tests.

Pakistan have been unable to stage games at home since March 2009 because of continuing security concerns.

The UAE has become an unofficial second home for Pakistan since then, hosting limited-overs series against New Zealand and England, while it was also the setting for the English county season's curtain-raiser in March as champions Durham played the MCC in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Pakistan played a "home" Test series in New Zealand against the Black Caps last year, and are due to "host" Australia in two Tests and two Twenty20 games in England in July 2010.

In March 2009, Sri Lanka's team bus was attacked by gunmen on the way to a Test in Lahore and seven players were injured, while six policemen and a bus driver were killed.

That was the first Test series to be played in Pakistan since South Africa's successful visit in October 2007.

The Proteas' previous tour of Pakistan in 2003 was delayed by a week after they refused to visit Karachi because of safety worries.