New Zealand reschedules Pakistan tour to April

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2002, 0:56 [IST]
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Lahore: New Zealand has agreed to reschedule last year's cancelled tour of Pakistan to April-May after receiving assurances on players' security, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Tuesday. "We are thankful to New Zealand Cricket for rescheduling the tour. We had assured them of all security and we maintain that," PCB director Brigadier Munawwar Rana said. New Zealand will play two Tests and three Limited Overs Internationals from April 21 to May 12. The tour was cancelled last year, four days after the September 11 attacks on the United States which triggered security fears in and around Pakistan, a frontline ally in the US-led war in Afghanistan. New Zealand team manager Jeff Crowe went on a pre-tour recce of Pakistan last week to check on security arrangements. Pakistan's interior ministry also gave New Zealand Cricket a letter of assurance that their team would be safe. New Zealand Cricket had pledged to honour its commitment to touring Pakistan under the International Cricket Council (ICC) 10-year programme, which binds all 10 Test- playing nations. ICC formed a dispute committee last year which could impose a penalty of $ 2 million on any country failing to honour its commitments without a valid reason. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC), in its meeting last month, had also threatened New Zealand Cricket that no Asian team would visit that country if it did not reschedule its tour of Pakistan. New Zealand will arrive in Pakistan on April 18 shortly after participating in a tri- series One-day tournament with Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Sharjah.

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