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MCC breaks new ground to sponsor Pakistan v Australia

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal bats during Pakistan's Twenty20 loss to Australia in February

The MCC will sponsor an international series for the first time in its 223-year history when Australia and Pakistan play in England in July.

MCC chief executive Keith Bradshaw said the move to fund the Lord's and Headingley Tests, and Twenty20 games at Edgbaston is a non-profit initiative.

"We feel to some degree that we are the conscience of the game," said Bradshaw.

Pakistan have been forced to play abroad because security issues prevent them from staging matches at home.

Bradshaw added: "We'll do whatever we can to help Pakistan. We have a role to play across the globe.

"We are supporting the series in a financial way with financial contributions.

"For us this is very much a not-for-profit exercise. It's about assisting Pakistan and spreading the word."

And Bradshaw claimed the Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns England's home of cricket, Lord's, is open to the possibility of hosting a Test between Pakistan and India.

606: DEBATE

"We have certainly thought about future matches but I can't say we have had any formal discussions," he stated.

"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 England and Wales Cricket Board, but I would say our doors are open and we would love to see that cricket come here."

Pakistan Cricket Board marketing manager Tariq Hakim said the July series would be a "test case as a neutral venue".

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

"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 are going to be jam-packed."

The 'Spirit of Cricket' Test series will be played the MCC's north London home on 13-17 July and in Leeds on 21-25 July.

Both games of the 'Spirit of Cricket' Twenty20 series will be played in Birmingham on 5 and 6 July.

Australia whitewashed tourists Pakistan in all formats when the sides met in January and February.



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see also
Johnson bowls Aussies to Test win
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Lee ends Test career but plays on
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Indian and Pakistani stars marry
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Afridi named Pakistan T20 captain
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Mohsin Khan accepts Pakistan role
02 Mar 10 |  Pakistan
MCC rejects IPL franchise plan
05 Mar 10 |  Cricket
Lord's could host IPL - MCC chief
25 Feb 10 |  Cricket


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
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