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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pakistan vs Australia ODI Series 2009 Schedule Fixture

(This entry was originally published on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009)

The much-awaited ODI series between Pakistan and Australia in UAE kicks off tomorrow (22 April 2009) with the first of the five-match ODI series goes underway at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium. There will be five ODI matches and a twenty20 international during the 16-day tour. The two cricket powers are now all set to take on each other since their last meeting at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 6 February 2005. So, Pakistan and Australia are going to face each other in a one day international after four years. Naturally, cricket fans in the two countries are now excited with the seemingly interesting series.

Pakistan Cricket has been badly hit by the tumultuous security condition of the country over the last couple of years. Many cricket teams refused to visit the country in the last one year in fear of leak of security. ICC was forced to postpone the pre-scheduled ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan last September after a number of test playing countries including Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England had refused to visit Pakistan. Recently, the tournament was relocated to South Africa which is now due to take place in September this year. Last year, Australia also refused to go on an official tour to Pakistan during which they were scheduled to play a test and an ODI series. That is why, the upcoming ODI series between Pakistan and Australia has been arranged in UAE and the two sides are all set to meet again on the field.

The security condition of Pakistan got aggravated last month when a terrorist attack happened on Sri Lanka cricket team bus near the Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium which put Pakistan under the series scrutiny of International Cricket Council (ICC). In fact, ICC has recently dropped Pakistan as one of the hosts of ICC World Cup 2011. Due to security concern, Pakistan missed many international cricket matches at home over the last one year. In fact, Pakistan did not play any test match in 2008, and they played only 2 tests so far this year. In the last nine months, Pakistan played only 6 ODI matches including a three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka earlier this year. Naturally, Pakistani cricketers are now starving for international cricket and they are keen to play as much international cricket as possible.

Australia stands in a different situation which contrasts to that of Pakistan. The Aussies played so many matches over the last 12 months that some of their key players including Captain Rickey Ponting, Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson have been rested for the series against Australia. They are also missing the ongoing IPL 2009 tournament due to exhausting international fixture over the last nine months during which Australia played 12 tests and 18 ODI matches.

While Pakistan is looking for more and more cricket matches, Australia is looking to retain their depleting dominance in ODI format of the game. Australia was beaten by South Africa at home in January this year, before losing another ODI series to South Africa recently on South African soil, and in the way, Australia lost the top spot of ODI ranking to South Africa.

Australia will definitely look to retain the top spot from South Africa by winning the ODI series against Pakistan. Australia has not been at their best over the last one year. Since the retirement of some of their greatest cricketers like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Australia’s dominance over world cricket in ODI format started to fade away gradually. Moreover, Australia is missing a number of star players like Ponting, Hussey and Johnson who are all rested, while Brett Lee is injured. Naturally, they will appear with their depleted strength against Pakistan. However, there could be some surprise performers like Andrew Symonds for Australia. Symonds has returned to Australian squad after nine months out injured and suspended for breaching disciplinary code of conduct. It is a very big chance for Symonds to prove that he deserves a place in the squad ahead of World Twenty20 due to take place in England in June 2009. So, he would definitely be desperate to prove the justification of his selection in the Australian squad.

The series will be a big test for stand-in captain Michael Clarke too. Clarke will be inspired himself to show his leadership skill in order to strengthen the possible of becoming Australia’s next captain after Ricky Ponting. In the same way, the ODI series is also very important for Pakistan captain Younis Khan who will be leading the team for the first time outside Pakistan. Younis Khan replaces Shoaib Malik as Pakistan captain after the humiliating series defeat at home at the hands of Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series this year. Naturally, Pakistani supporters are now looking to see a spirited Pakistani team under the leadership of Younis who is expected to lead Pakistan from the front in UAE because he has been one of the most consistent performers over the last few years for Pakistan. Pakistan is also expected a tremendous come back from veteran pacer Soaib Akhtar who missed lots of cricket action over the last couple of years due to suspension and injury problems. Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam is hopeful that Shoaib will be back in action with full swing. All the matches will take place in two venues of UAE: Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium and Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium is yet to host its first international cricket match, while Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi is already well known to Pakistan team as they played against West Indies in a ODI series at this ground last year.

So, we can expect an exciting ODI series between Pakistan and Australia in UAE. I think, all the cricket fans in the two countries are expecting the same. Now, it is down to the two teams to present the cricket fans with some mind blowing matches. Here, I am giving the full schedule of the Pakistan vs Australia series 2009:

Match

Date

Competing Teams

Time

Venue

1st ODI

April 22

Wed

Pakistan vs Australia

Local

14:30;

GMT

10:30

Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium

2nd ODI

April 24

Friday

Pakistan vs Australia

Local

14:30;

GMT

10:30

Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium

3rd ODI

April 27

Monday

Pakistan vs Australia

Local

14:30;

GMT

10:30

Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

4th ODI

May 1

Friday

Pakistan vs Australia

Local

14:30;

GMT

10:30

Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

5th ODI

May 3

Sunday

Pakistan vs Australia

Local

14:30;

GMT

10:30

Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Only T20

May 7

Thu

Pakistan vs Australia

Local

18:00;

GMT

14:00

Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium

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