Karachi: New Zealand cricket authorities have remained non-committal about playing in a tri-series One-day tournament in Pakistan planned for August this year, a Pakistani official said on Tuesday.
New Zealand cut short a tour of Pakistan earlier this month when a terror bomb blast near its hotel killed 14 people, including 11 French nationals. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Munawwar Rana told reporters that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) had written to express appreciation of the arrangements on the tour before it had to be aborted. "NZC has appreciated the arrangements on the tour through a letter and if the affected board is so supportive we feel it's a welcome sign," Rana said. "The Board, management and all the players are unanimous that the PCB provided the best security and it would not be reasonable to hold PCB responsible for the mishap," he quoted the letter as saying. "Whether it tours Pakistan is a subsidiary issue and we have not discussed the matter with the NZC but would take it up once the dust settles down," Rana said. Australia is also scheduled to take part in the One-day tournament in August and September ahead of three Tests against Pakistan in October, but several top Australian players have expressed fears for their security. Australia's Test captain Steve Waugh, however, has said he would tour if the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) gave the go-ahead. "Steve Waugh's statement is also very positive and we would want the cricket world to allow us some time and let us fulfil our commitment to host positive cricket," Rana said. Pakistan cricket has been badly hit in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States and Washington's reprisals against neighbouring Afghanistan. New Zealand's aborted tour was originally scheduled for September-October last year before being postponed, while Sri Lanka refused to tour Pakistan for a makeshift One- day series two months later. Pakistan had to play its home series against the West Indies on neutral grounds in Sharjah earlier this year because of West Indian concerns over security.
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