LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced the much-awaited sale of broadcast rights for two home series which will be played at the neutral venue of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of security fears in the country. 

Pakistan will play its first home series against South Africa in October-November while the second home series against Sri Lanka will be played in December-January - both in UAE as neutral venue.

The PCB spokesman said the UAE-based Ten Sports won the rights for the Pakistan-South Africa series, while a local sports channel, which was already expected to get lucrative rights, was awarded the rights to the matches against Sri Lanka on the recommendation of a bids committee headed by former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani.

“The sale process was conducted by a bids committee and the entire process was monitored by independent Audit Firm Ernst & Young and observed by a member of the PCB governing board to ensure its transparency and integrity,” said the PCB spokesman.

Pakistan’s previous five-year TV rights deal, which expired in June this year, was worth US$140.5million.

The PCB was forced to sell only two series and hold the five-year deal until next year as the high court in Islamabad has prevented it from taking major decisions until a new chairman is appointed through elections.

He said the deal was finalised after a clean process. “Two bidders participated in the bidding process. The financial bids of both were evaluated and were the highest,” he added.

“The PCB will not be announcing the rights fee amounts finalised for these tours, however, the offers finalised are significantly higher than the values that the PCB had received for these series under the previous media rights contract,” he stated.

Pakistan will play two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20is against South Africa and three Tests, five ODIs and two T20is against Sri Lanka.