Christchurch (New Zealand): Three New Zealand cricketers on Monday pulled out of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy tournament in Sri Lanka next month because of safety concerns.
Craig McMillan, Matt Horne and Brooke Walker would have been in the Black Caps team to defend the Trophy that New Zealand won in Kenya, but made themselves unavailable for the trip. McMillan said it was a "tough decision" to make but he felt very comfortable with it. "I made a decision not to tour Sri Lanka following the events in Pakistan. The decision was made a lot easier through the support of New Zealand Cricket and my family," he said. The New Zealand team experienced a bomb blast outside its hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1992 and several players returned home immediately. During the World Cup of 1996 Australia rejected playing in Sri Lanka, and even last year when the Black Caps were playing a tournament there, terrorist activity occurred at the airport in Colombo. In May this year, the New Zealand pulled out of a tour of Pakistan after a car bomb exploded outside its hotel in the Southern city of Karachi. New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Shane Bond, Chris Harris, Paul Hitchcock, Kyle Mills, Chris Nevin, Jacob Oram, Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Glen Sulzberger, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori and Lou Vincent.
Waqar to stay captain till ICC Champions Trophy