Melbourne, Mar.12 : Cricket Australia (CA) is reportedly considering plans to have a one-day series in Pakistan to make up for the postponed Australian team tour to that country.
According to The Australian, CA CEO James Sutherland last night said a short one-day series was "not impossible" given the players now had six weeks off.
This was reinforced by CA's general manager of cricket operations Michael Brown, who said a one-day series was "most definitely" a chance depending on how coach Tim Nielsen and his support staff wanted to organise the team for the West Indies.
Nielsen claimed he had already spoken to Brown twice yesterday about the best way to prepare for the West Indies now that Pakistan was off.
He expects Australia's coaching and support staff to meet in Sydney next week during the Pura Cup final to formulate a more detailed strategy.
"Players will have IPL on their minds and there's county cricket but it's a matter of what is the best preparation," Nielsen said.
Even if leading players could play a third of the IPL matches they could make hundreds of thousands of dollars in a couple of weeks on a pro rata basis.
Australia's most sought after player, Andrew Symonds, who was auctioned off for about 1.5 million dollars a year, could make 500,000 dollars in a fortnight.
However, it is unlikely that the coaching staff will want their best players involved in a helter skelter entertainment package without CA coaching or medical support in India on the eve of a West Indies tour which contains three Tests, five one-day matches and a Twenty20 game.
At the very least CA will program a training camp at the centre of excellence in Brisbane for the beginning of May before the team leaves later in the second week.
With such a cluttered program and an Ashes tour in the middle of next year, any likelihood of playing in Pakistan before 2010 appears remote.
Australia has not played in Pakistan since 1998, although Australia A toured there without incident in September last year.
There is now a three-week window between the start of the IPL on April 18 and Australia's tour of the West Indies, which is due to start in the second week of May.
While the decision to postpone the tour was widely welcomed in Australia and prevented a player revolt if CA had decided to go ahead, Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson said calling off the tour over security fears was disappointing and unjustified.
"I don't think they (Australia) are justified in postponing the series. I am living in Pakistan and feel secure," Lawson said in Karachi yesterday.
The tour was due to begin on March 29 and Lahore was one of the venues where Australia was due to play.
Sutherland denied the latest wave of suicide bombs prompted the postponement, claiming the decision had been made last week.
Story first published: Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 13:36 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 12, 2008