Australia refuse to play ODIs in Pakistan

Pakistan are currently ranked fifth on the ICC ODI team rankings while Australia are sixth- just two points behind

Pakistan will host the five-match series in the United Arab Emirates after Cricket Australia sought more time to assess the security situation in the South Asian country.

With the 12-month bans on Smith and Warner - for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal that erupted during a Test match in South Africa a year ago - due to expire on March 29, it is possible their first taste of global action will come at the Dubai worldwide Cricket Stadium in the fourth of the five matches.

But CA reportedly acted on its government's advice not to tour Pakistan where no Australian senior team have played since 1998 over security fears. Sharjah will host the first two matches on 22nd and 24th of next month, followed by Abu Dhabi on 27th and Dubai on 29th and 31st. Instead, he would have to sit in the stands. In the first instance, he would need to prove he has recovered from the elbow surgery he underwent last month. The team may not be traveling but CA will at least gain first-hand experience of the security protocols the PCB puts in place. This process will nearly certainly involve a mediator and has been led by interim high performance chief Belinda Clark. The last two matches of the series will be played in Dubai.

He remains in the frame to return in time for the World Cup in May, although he is keen to play in the Indian Premier League, which also resumes on March 29.

In between this time, they have faced each other just in ICC Champions Trophy, ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup and ACC Asia Cup.

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Australia can successfully defend their World Cup title in England this year with Steve Smith and David Warner back in the fray, newly-appointed assistant coach Ricky Ponting said on Sunday. Australia has won only three of its past 16 ODI matches.

Ponting will have a role in shepherding Smith and Warner back into the fold.

"The PCB was optimistic that it will be able to convince Australia to send its side for some matches after successfully staging high-profile bilateral worldwide series", Zakir said.

Pakistan has seen global cricket begin to trickle back to the country over the past three years with West Indies arriving in April 2018 to play three T20Is in Karachi.

Khan, however, said that the CA has assured them that they will send their security expert to oversee the execution of security plans for the PSL 2019 matches "In the meantime, the CA have confirmed they will maintain regular contact with the ICC, Zakir added".

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