We can''t force any country to tour Pakistan: ICC

NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council''s chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the world governing body would be powerless to intervene if the Indian government refused to sanction the tour.

"We would try and encourage India to tour, but if the government decides otherwise, we will have to respect that because there is nothing the ICC can do about it," Lorgat told reporters here.

"We can''t force any country to tour Pakistan."

Lorgat hoped the matches could be played at a neutral venue such as the United Arab Emirates.

"Rather than not playing all, it would perhaps be better to go to neutral venues, but that would depend on Pakistan and India," he said.

"There are excellent facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, so why not make use of them?"

The tour was first put in doubt in early November when the Indian government denied permission to the national junior hockey team to visit Pakistan.

Australia cancelled a Test tour of Pakistan in March and the ICC put off the high-profile Champions Trophy there in September due to security concerns.