The series will be the first-ever bilateral face-off between the two Asian nations.
The three-match ODI series between Afghanistan and Pakistan will now be played in Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota and not the United Arab Emirates, as confirmed by Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Saturday (July 24).
The series will be the first-ever bilateral face-off between the two Asian nations, which was speculated earlier this year after Afghanistan’s star all-rounder Mohammad Nabi met with incumbent Pakistan Prime Minister and former cricketer Imran Khan, and requested him to arrange a bilateral series between the two nations. Reports earlier also suggested the Imran Khan contacted Pakistan Cricket Board to organize a bilateral series involving their neighbouring nation.
Following later developments, the series was confirmed with UAE to play host. However, the postponement of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League and the subsequent rescheduling of the same in UAE means that the venues could not be used for the series in question.
“ACB had approached UAE and Oman for hosting the series against Pakistan but both countries failed to accommodate them due to the upcoming assignments. The remainder of IPL 2021 will be played in UAE in September and the country will also host the World T20 alongside Oman after the completion of India’s premier T20 competition,” reported Cricbuzz on July 24.
Afghanistan-Pakistan series a part of ICC ODI Super League
The ODIs will be played between September 1 and 5 and will be a part of the ICC ODI Super League, where Pakistan currently occupies the fifth spot with four wins (40 points) from nine matches, while Afghanistan is eighth (30 points), having won all three matches (against Ireland) so far. Afghanistan was last in action against Zimbabwe in March in UAE this year, where they drew a two-test series 1-1 before clean-sweeping their opponents 3-0 in the T20I series.
Meanwhile, Pakistan recently travelled to England, where they were clean-swept 3-0 in the ODIs, while they lost the subsequent T20I series 2-1. They are now preparing for the tour of the West Indies, where they will play two Tests and five T20Is between July 27 to August 24. Later, England and New Zealand are set to travel to Pakistan for limited-over series.