Islamabad, Feb.12 : Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf has said that he is still hopeful that Cricket Australia will honour its commitment to let the team tour Pakistan in March and April.
According to The News, Ashraf confirmed that he had received a letter from his Australian counterpart Creagh O'Connor on Monday expressing concern about Australia's first tour to Pakistan in 10 years.
Ashraf said he had told Cricket Australia it should send a security delegation one week after the general elections on February 18 to assess the situation for itself. He also said he had told O'Connor that cricketers were safe in Pakistan and no touring team had been affected by the security environment in any series.
He also reiterated that if the Australian cricket team did not visit the country in March this year, Pakistan may well ponder cancellation of its tour to Australia in 2009.
"If they do decide to call off next month's tour, we also reserve the right to decide about our tour Down Under next year," he said.
Meanwhile, an Australian professor in intelligence and counter-terrorism has advised the Australian cricket squad not to tour Pakistan next month.
Clive Williams, a professor from Macquarie University's Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism, told the Sydney Morning Herald that he would not go if he was in Australia's position.
"It's a fairly volatile situation in Pakistan at the moment," Williams, a specialist in national security and Pakistan affairs, opined.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) this week released four venues for the tour and is ready to provide head-of-state-style security for the visiting Australian squad.
However, Cricket Australia is not sure whether a pre-tour safety inspection can be made following the elections and before the beginning of the tour.