KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistan's cricket chief said Tuesday that authorities were working to improve security a week after Sri Lanka's team was attacked and hoped to woo back international games within nine months. Ijaz Butt told AFP that until security returned to a satisfactory level to stop similar incidents in the future, Pakistan would not invite international sides to tour. The attacks, which killed eight people and injured seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach, dealt a massive blow to Pakistani cricket and left the country a pariah destination. Up to 12 gunmen - still at large - ambushed the Sri Lankan team's bus and cricket officials en route to the Gaddafi Stadium in the city of Lahore, where they were due to resume the third day's play in the second Test. The match was abandoned and the tourists repatriated immediately. "We are making all-out efforts to get through this phase," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Butt said. "Pakistan needs the support of the cricket world, whose response in these difficult times has been overwhelming." "We have been discussing ways and means to avoid any such happenings in the future and get security to a level where such incidents will not happen again," he added. "Until and unless we achieve that, we will not invite any team." Although some commentators hold out little hope that international cricket will return to Pakistan for a generation, Butt was confident this could happen by the end of the year. "I reckon that in the next six to nine months we will have international cricket back in Pakistan and for that we are making whole-hearted efforts. "A high-level inquiry has been launched and we hope that it will bear the desired results and remove negative perceptions." The Sri Lankan series was the first the PCB chairman has supervised at home since the government appointed him to the post in October. "Meanwhile, we have some offshore cricket coming up against Australia for which we have finalised all preparations," he said, referring to five one-day matches and a Twenty20 series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi next month. Before the Lahore attacks, Pakistan was already seen as a danger zone for international teams, who refused to tour here in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and the ensuing "war on terror." Australia and the West Indies refused to tour in 2002, forcing Pakistan to play its home series on neutral venues, in Sri Lankan and Sharjah. New Zealand cut short a rescheduled tour of Pakistan after a suicide blast outside their hotel in May 2002. A series of suicide blasts last year prompted Australia to postpone their tour. They agreed to reschedule and split it into two - for one-day games in 2009 and Tests in 2010. The Australian government, however, again refused to clear the tour and the series will now be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai next month. Pakistani players will take part in a domestic one-day tournament starting later this week, and are also waiting for their Bangladesh tour to get a final approval from Dhaka. That tour, comprising five one-day games and two Twenty20 series, was put off on advice from the Bangladeshi government, which wants to revise security for the Pakistan team. It had been slated to start Tuesday but is now expected to take place from March 28.