Pak will not travel to Oz if CA opts to cancel forthcoming tour

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Karachi, Feb 7 : Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials have warned that their team's tour of Australia next year would be called off if the world champions opted to cancel their forthcoming series in Pakistan over security concerns.

Sources in the PCB said that Pakistani officials have 'indirectly' conveyed it to their Cricket Australia counterparts that a negative decision from the Aussies would have adverse influence on the return tour next year.

According to the ICC Future Tour Programme (FTP) Pakistan is scheduled to play a full series in Australia in 2009.

Top Pakistan and Australian cricket officials met in Dubai on the sidelines of an ICC meeting to save the bilateral series scheduled to start next month.

PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf had a meeting with his CA counterpart Creagh O'Connor to discuss the details of the bilateral series that is under cloud after several Australian players raised concerns over their safety in Pakistan.

The Australians are supposed to travel to Pakistan next month to play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 International during March-April.

The Australian cricket team's tour of Pakistan is expected to be restricted to four venues for security reasons. Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad have been selected as the venues.

The News quoted sources as saying that the Pakistani officials were not very happy with the non-committal approach of the Australian cricket bosses, who kept on saying that a final decision on the tour would only be taken after February 18 general elections in Pakistan.

Apart from Ashraf and O'Connor, Zakir Khan, PCB's Director of Cricket Operations, and his Australian counterpart Michael Brown also attended the meeting.

Sources said that the Australians did not give a very positive response to PCB's presentation on the itinerary of the series as well as the security cover that would be provided to their players and officials during their tour.

ANI

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