Australia are unlikely to tour Pakistan for the scheduled one-day series in April and May, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said.
Australia had cancelled their tour of Pakistan in the wake of the heightened violence in March 2008, and were expected to visit the country separately for the ODI and Test series this year. However, with Australia still apprehensive over the security situation, Butt said the matches could be played at neutral venues.
"Chances of them [Australia] agreeing to play in Pakistan are slim," said Butt. "They have asked us to suggest three neutral venues where the series can be relocated."
Butt said England, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai are being considered as alternatives in case the five ODIs and one Twenty20 do not take place in Pakistan. The venues will be discussed with Cricket Australia officials on the sidelines of an ICC executive board meeting later this month.
Australia have not played in Pakistan since 1998. In 2002, due to security concerns, a three Test series between the two sides in Pakistan was shifted to Colombo and Sharjah. "We want Australia to play in Pakistan but our first priority is to ensure the series is played," said Butt. "We have to be realistic, flexible and pragmatic about having this series."