Pakistan is ready to shift its home series against India early next year to a neutral venue if New Delhi refuses to clear its team's tour over security fears, a top official said Thursday.
India is scheduled to visit Pakistan for three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 between January and February next year but the tour is already in doubt over security fears.
The recent cancellation of an Indian junior hockey team trip increased worries over the high-profile cricket series, revived four years ago after a hiatus caused by political tension between the two countries.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Salim Altaf said the first choice would always be playing at home.
"Our priority remains to convince India and other foreign teams to fulfil their obligation of touring Pakistan. That we will do.
"But in extreme conditions, if Indian government does not clear the tour over security concerns, we don't rule out option of shifting the series to neutral venues like UAE (United Arab Emirates) or England," Altaf said.
"The PCB had offers from the English cricket authorities and organisers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to stage the series, so there is an option which can be considered but we would dearly want the series to be played in Pakistan."
Altaf said behind-the-scenes planning for the India series had begun.
"We have already started work on the security plan and other arrangements, like publishing of tickets, are already underway, so we are gearing up to host the series and hope that everything is settled for it," said Altaf.
Pakistan have not played a single Test this year after Australia postponed their planned tour over security fears in March.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) also put off September's elite eight-nation Champions Trophy in Pakistan after South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and England raised security fears.
The ICC rescheduled the event for September-October next year but said Pakistan's home series against India would be a test to see if the country could host an elite event.
"We have received an email from ICC President David Morgan who wants to watch the India Test match so it's crucial for us to host India," said Altaf.
Pakistan has been a danger zone for foreign teams since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
In 2002 Pakistan had to relocate its two home series -- against the West Indies and Australia -- to neutral venues.
A bomb blast outside the New Zealand team hotel in Karachi saw the Kiwis cut their tour short in May of that year.
Since then South Africa have refused to play in the troubled city of Karachi and only toured in 2003 and 2007 after getting Pakistani government assurances.