Mandela asks England, New Zealand to honour schedule

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Former South African President Nelson Mandela appealed on Wednesday to England and New Zealand to play their Cricket World Cup matches in Zimbabwe and Kenya, saying their refusal could plunge cricket into chaos. "They must respect what the international cricket community says because we must sow discipline.

If we refuse to follow what the international body says, we are introducing chaos," he told reporters in Johannesburg. The English Cricket Board has formally requested the International Cricket Council to have its February 13 World Cup match in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare switched to South Africa, citing security reasons.

Meanwhile New Zealand have pulled out of its World Cup game in Nairobi, Kenya, saying it had information of a terrorist threat after 11 people were killed in a bomb attack at a Mombasa hotel. But Mandela said the international cricket authorities had done their homework on the matter and would not allow the matches to continue if they posed a danger to players, SABC radio news reported. "They know what is dangerous for cricket and if they say cricketers must go to Zimbabwe, must go to Kenya, that's what they must do," he said.

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