The Pakistan Cricket Board have confirmed that discussions with Cricket Australia about a tour later this year are ‘open and ongoing.’
The Australians and Pakistanis are scheduled to play five ODIs in late March and early April. The series will predominantly be played in the United Arab Emirates, but potentially some in Pakistan.
‘The PCB chairman wrote a letter to the CA chairman on 7 January, in which he suggested that the CA, as part of a standard protocol and process for bilateral series, should send their recce team to Pakistan to receive presentations on Pakistan’s security arrangements,’ a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo.
‘The PCB is still waiting for a response from the CA. Until the PCB hears further from the CA on their 7 January letter, we will consider this as an open and ongoing discussion.’
A Cricket Australia spokesperson was quoted as saying in the Age: ‘We want to see international cricket return to Pakistan – the country has a huge passion for it.
‘However, the safety of our players and support staff is our number one priority and we won’t compromise that. We’ll continue to take advice from a range of government agencies and our own security intelligence and act on this accordingly.
‘At this stage, we are not contemplating moving our current bilateral-tour arrangements from taking on Pakistan in the UAE, when they host the next series, but we do remain open to the idea of playing in the country again. We formally advised the PCB of this position in early January.’
International cricket has not been played in Pakistan on a regular basis since 2009, when the touring Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in Lahore.