A six-member Cricket Australia delegation was in Pakistan to assess the security and facilities ahead of a few tours. The Australia A side will tour Pakistan in September followed by the Under-19 side. The Australian national team is also set to visit in March 2008, their first tour to Pakistan in 10 years.
"It's a routine assessment tour. We assess facilities and security wherever Australian teams tour," Michael Brown, CA's general manager of operations told reporters after visiting Lahore's Gaddafi stadium.
Australia refused to tour Pakistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The refusal forced Pakistan to play its home series at neutral venues in Sri Lanka and Sharjah in 2002.
Brown said the assessment tour was only for the A and Under-19 tours. "This assessment tour is for our A and under-19 teams and it's important because we want players to get a safe environment and concentrate on playing."
The delegation includes Stephan Bernard, the Australian senior team manager, Geoff Allardice, the cricket manager, Reginald Dickson, CA security manager, Paul Marsh, chief executive of the Australian Players Association and Daryl Foster, biomechanics expert. The delegation will also tour Islamabad and Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where the Australian A team is due to play. The A side successfully toured Pakistan in 2005 without facing any problems.