Prior to the ICC World T20 which will be held in Sri Lanka, Pakistan are scheduled to meet Australia for a series of limited overs internationals at a venue yet to be confirmed, although UAE seems to be the frontrunner.
The original choice of Sri Lanka playing host for the series was declined by the Sri Lankan Cricket board due to the clash with the Sri Lankan Premier League, which is also due to be held in August.
Given the proximity of the scheduled matches to the World Twenty20, the two teams are seeking to maximise their chances at the tournament by substituting the ODI matches for T20Is, thereby increasing their exposure to the shorter format and the Pakistan Cricket Board has contacted the ICC to request approval for playing greater than three T20Is in its series against Australia.
An ICC official was quoted by the Pakistani media, "The PCB contacted the ICC last month, requesting permission to play more than three T20Is in its forthcoming series against Australia. The ICC reminded the PCB that as per the ICC Board decision, a Member can only play three T20Is in a series and if it wants to depart from this restriction, then the ICC can take this request to the ICC Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) which will meet in Kuala Lumpur during the ICC annual conference from 24-28 June."
ICC rules currently specify that a team can play only 12 T20Is per year, including a maximum of three in a series. However, in an ICC World Twenty20 year, a team is allowed to play three additional T20Is but the cap on number of matches in a bilateral series remains at three.
The PCB and Cricket Australia will be hoping the ICC are accommodating to the PCB's request to increase the number of T20Is when the sides meet, particularly given the difficulties the players would face in playing the scheduled 50-over matches in the stifling late-August heat of the UAE, should that location be selected to host the series.
The T20I matches would help the teams assess their strongest line-ups and provide the coaches with an opportunity to experiment prior to the commencement of the ICC World T20.