Wellington: Fear of further terror attacks in Kenya could keep New Zealand cricket players away from a World Cup match scheduled there, the team said on Tuesday. "We have received information which strongly suggests it is not safe for the New Zealand team to travel to Nairobi for the scheduled match on February 21," said New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden.
Snedden said a decision whether the team would play in Kenya would come on Thursday from the International Cricket Council, which had sent a security team to the East African country to analyse the security situation. Kenya has been hit twice by terror attacks linked to the al-Qaeda network. In 1998, more than 200 people were killed when the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam were bombed and last November, 11 people were killed in a car bombing attack on a hotel in the coastal city Mombasa.
The current situation suggests there are "active" terror groups operating in Kenya "which have the means and capability of launching a terrorist attack", possibly against other Western targets, Snedden said. "The information indicates that Kenyan authorities are not capable of providing adequate security," he added. "I would anticipate that in the light of the information on the table, the ICC's executive board will recognise the risk to player safety and move the games to South Africa." The Black Caps left for Johannesburg on Tuesday to play in the World Cup, to be jointly hosted by Zimbabwe, itself the subject of security concerns for World Cup organisers.