Islamabad:Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt left for India on Thursday for a rescue mission designed to save the scheduled tour by India next month.
Butt will try to persuade India officials to proceed with the tour, with dwindling expectations that it will go ahead.
Already threatened by the uncertain security situation in Pakistan which had prompted a series of tour cancellations in 2008, the tour was further imperiled by last month's terrorist attacks by Pakistani militants in India last month that killed 171 people.
"He will definitely discuss next month's tour of the Indian cricket team with the Indian board officials on the sidelines of Asian Cricket Council's meeting," PCB's chief operating officer Salim Altaf told Associated Press.
Butt is scheduled to attend the finance committee's meeting of the ACC in Chennai where he will also watch the ongoing first Test between India and England.
Altaf said the PCB still hopes India will tour Pakistan from Jan. 8-Feb. 19 for a schedule of three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting government clearance to go ahead with next month's tour.
PCB officials had previously said they would consider playing in a neutral venue, likely in the United Arab Emirates, if India refused to tour Pakistan but even that contingency is looking increasingly unlikely.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said he believes the tour will be called off.
"It will be difficult in any case for the Indian players to play against Pakistan at the moment," Gavaskar said in an interview on independent CNN-IBN Television late Wednesday.
"Diplomatically there has been a fallout between the two nations and I don't see why cricket won't follow suit.
"At the moment, it is impossible to go ahead with the tour."