LAHORE - The Chief Executive Officer of the International Cricket Council Dave Richardson believes the game's governing body is not in a position to convince cricketing nations to resume playing in Pakistan.

Pakistan has not hosted any major test playing nation since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus that killed six police officials and a van driver in Lahore.

"We (ICC) are not security experts," ICC chief executive David Richardson told reporters on Saturday. "I'm not a security expert to form a view necessarily about the safety or not of players. It will be up to the PCB in convincing that it is safe to come to Pakistan and they will make up their own minds in this regard."

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been forced to organise its "home" series at neutral venues and mainly in the United Arab Emirates since the 2009 terror attack. It has tried to convince other cricket boards to return to Pakistan, but even lowly-ranked Test playing nation Bangladesh have twice postponed its tour during the last 10 months.

"Security is not something that is taken lightly by anybody and making a decision as to whether it's safe or not involves a serious assessment of the risk ... and security plans that are put in place," Richardson said.

"ICC is not in a position to do that when it comes to teams touring. It's up to the member countries to decide and when it comes to individuals they have to take advice from their own security advisors and make decisions themselves."

In its latest bid to regain the confidence of international teams, the PCB announced a five-team Pakistan Super League this March in which it expects to attract 30 foreign players for Twenty20 matches. Richardson said it's a step in right direction.

"I think it's an initiative on the right path because what you've got to do is to regain the confidence of cricketing world and I think that's a very sensible step in the right direction," he said. "Sometimes the perceptions don't fit with reality and what we've got to make sure is that true facts are known to everybody and then of course progress can be made."

Richardson also sees the resumption of cricketing ties between Pakistan and India as a major step and compared it with the rivalry between Australia and England.

"The English and Australians get very proud of their Ashes, but ties between Pakistan and India are critically important for world cricket," he said.

Dave Richardson gave some hope to millions of cricket-starved Pakistanis fans by declaring that the return of international matches in the country was just around the corner.

Dave Richardson, who visited the National Cricket Academy here and met with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials said his presence in the Pakistan was testament to the fact that there were no real issues in staging matches in the country.

Richardson declined to give an exact time frame for the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan. He said all efforts were being made to speed up the process and iron out the chinks. Restoration of confidence in the international community would, obviously, be the decisive factor.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf on the occasion said the International Cricket Council was standing behind Pakistan and the successful organization of the Pakistan Super League would be the first step in convincing foreign players about the situation in Pakistan.

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has said a number of times over the last few months that he was in constant touch with other full members of the ICC to resume international cricket in Pakistan. But Richardson said it was difficult to give an exact time frame for when the PCB's effort will materialise.

Zaka Ashraf said Pakistan is going through difficult times through on faulty of PCB. "Pakistan is going through difficult times through no fault of Pakistan Cricket Board really," he said. "It's our role to support Pakistan in its efforts to make sure that international cricket returns to Pakistan, whenever that may be.

"It's difficult to say exactly when and I think that's about as much as far as we can go at this stage."