DUBAI - Pakistan’s women’s cricket team are to use the neutral venue of Qatar to host a tri-series with South Africa and Ireland, an official said Friday.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) interim chairman Najam Sethi said the first-ever triangular women’s one-day and Twenty20 tournament will be held in Qatar from Jan 8-25 in Doha, making Pakistan the first country to introduce women’s cricket in this region. “South Africa, Ireland and Pakistan women’s teams are participating in this home series of Pakistan as we want our women team to play as much cricket as possible,” Sethi told AFP.

Pakistan have been forced to play all its home cricket on neutral venues of United Arab Emirates (UAE) since terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009 suspended all international sports in the country. Pakistan’s men’s team are playing a Twenty20, one-day and Test series against Sri Lanka in UAE. PCB said the tri-series in Qatar will help all three teams to tune up for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh starting in March.

“Both the series in Qatar will be of great significance since these teams are in the same pool in the upcoming World Twenty 20 to be held in Bangladesh,” said the PCB. The triangular one-day tournament will start from January 10 and the final will be played on 17th January. All matches are day and night. The T20 tri-series will be played from January 19-25. “Qatar can be a good venue for our teams in the future and the women series will give us an idea how Qatar can help us in hosting cricket there,” said Sethi.