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London: England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke says England may host Test matches between Asian countries as part of its commitment to supporting the five-day game.

Clarke pointed out that matches between, for instance, Sri Lanka and Pakistan would be unlikely to attract big crowds in either of the participating countries. But if they were to be played in England, the number of spectators could be much greater.

“Indeed it might be said that Pakistan might get a better crowd in Leeds than in Karachi,” Clarke says in a feature on the future of Test cricket in the November issue of ‘The Wisden Cricketer’.

“It’s something we are considering, how we play these types of games and where we can play them. I like the idea of providing the opportunity with our fabulous grounds and our huge ethnic minority population who are keen to see their own heroes. And it may be in the interests of cricket; that’s the most important thing for me.”

Clarke’s suggestion comes at a time of increased uncertainty over the scheduling of Tests, with the emergence of Twenty20 cricket leading to doubts over Sri Lanka’s tour of England next year and, in Pakistan’s case, security concerns for visiting teams.

Clarke says the ICC must rise to the challenge of protecting Test cricket.

“Clearly I can’t speak for anyone else internationally. Other countries do things slightly differently from us because of the economics from their point of view. (PTI)

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