Australia's tour of Pakistan may have hit another roadblock with word that Darren Lehmann, the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) president, will not send a delegate on a pre-tour security inspection of Pakistan due to safety concerns.
Australia's scheduled tour has already been shortened and, if it goes ahead, will begin later this month, but further bombings in Pakistan over the weekend have heightened safety fears.
ACA chief executive Paul Marsh had been scheduled to join Cricket Australia representatives in Pakistan this month to decide if its players can visit safely, but Lehmann has said that would not happen. "We're not sending Paul Marsh on the pre-tour visit and that's basically because we as a board don't feel comfortable sending one of our employees there at the moment," Lehmann said. "At the moment our advice is not to, and I don't feel comfortable sending anybody to be perfectly honest, and the [players'] board doesn't.
"There's been a lot of things going on in Pakistan. Hopefully it settles down, but only time will tell."
Lehmann believed CA would go ahead with plans for the tour unless it is made clear the trip cannot proceed, and said the players would require plenty of assurances to change their minds. "On Wednesday we'll meet with the government departments and see what is really out there," he said. "We'll get our advice from them, security issues, any other problems we have with Pakistan. I think they'd need a lot of assurances along the way."
CA will meet with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra on Wednesday to receive advice on the current security situation in Pakistan.
CA's spokesman Peter Young said it was too early to tell if the latest bombings would affect the tour. "We will sit down with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and take a formal briefing from them on the situation in Pakistan and the likely situation in the coming weeks," Young said. "We'll continue to move through that formal process. We're not going to pre-empt the outcome of that process until we have gone through the whole thing."