NZC decision disheartening, but should be respected

Published: Friday, January 31, 2003, 23:57 [IST]
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Johannesburg: World Cup organiser Ali Bacher lamented New Zealand's decision on Friday to pull out of its fixture in Kenya, but said the judgment of the country's cricket authorities should be respected.

"The organising committee shares the disappointment of the Kenyan cricketers and their supporters. We must however, respect the autonomy of the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Council and its judgment in making this decision," Bacher said in a statement. "Even though we have lost one match, the 53 remaining games still represent the biggest Cricket World Cup ever staged. In England in 1999, there were 42 matches," said Bacher, who is the World Cup's executive director.

Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo said he believed that Nairobi would be a safe city to play in. "It is safe to play cricket in Kenya. The safety in Kenya is secured. There have been no incidences for the past three, four months," he told reporters upon the team's arrival at Johannesburg International Airport. "We had a general election that went smoothly (in December) and we have made sure that the security is ready," Tikolo said.

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