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Rediff.com  » Sports » Lord's CEO willing to host Indo-Pak Test series

Lord's CEO willing to host Indo-Pak Test series

April 13, 2010 09:38 IST

Lord's chief executive Keith Bradshaw said on Monday he would welcome the opportunity to host a Test between Asian powerhouses Pakistan and India at the headquarters of world cricket next year.

Pakistan, who are forced to play home matches on neutral territory because of security fears, start a two-Test series against Australia at Lord's on July 13. The Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lord's, is sponsoring the series.

"We have certainly thought about future matches but I can't say we have had any formal discussions," MCC secretary and chief executive Bradshaw said.

"India are touring here next year so the prospect of an India-Pakistan neutral Test (at Lord's) is certainly an attractive one but it's not one we have had any official talks on to this point.

"It's probably not for the MCC to be involved in the negotiations, I guess they would be between India, Pakistan and the ECB (England's board), but I would say our doors are open and we would love to see that cricket come here."

India were scheduled to tour Pakistan early last year but refused to travel because of security concerns. They were replaced by Sri Lanka who were victims of an armed attack in Lahore in which six of their players were wounded.

"The United Arab Emirates has been our only neutral venue to date but the Pakistan Cricket Board is looking for other venues," Pakistan Cricket Board marketing manager Tariq Hakim said.

"This particular series in England is a Test case as a neutral venue and the indications are that we have succeeded and that we will use England in future matches also because of the huge expatriate crowds.

"The early indications are that the two Test matches and Twenty20 internationals (against Australia) are going to be jam-packed."

Asked about a Pakistan-India series in England, Hakim replied: "The boards have to decide about that but, yes, there has been a willingness that they would love to see Pakistan play over here in England."

Bradshaw said Lord's had bid "a high amount" to stage the Test but added he did not expect to lose money.

"The MCC, we feel, has a global role and it's not just about the domestic game here in England," he said. "I would like to think there would be more neutral Tests played here in England and, of course, at the home of cricket at Lord's.

"We are always willing to open our doors to neutral Tests and we looked at how we can help cricket in Pakistan in a more tangible way so the decision to sponsor the series was twofold."

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