Johannesburg: Having finally resolved England's crisis over refusing to play in Zimbabwe, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will now consider New Zealand's plea to move its World Cup match out of Kenya. New Zealand on Saturday formally asked the ICC to switch its February 21 match against Kenya from Nairobi to South Africa for security reasons.
The request came on the same day that the World Cup technical committee decided to award Zimbabwe four points after turning down England's demand to move the match to South Africa. "Earlier today (Saturday), New Zealand Cricket (NZC) reconfirmed its decision, taken prior to the start of the tournament, that it would not travel to Kenya because of safety and security concerns," the ICC said in a statement.
"The New Zealand submission details its security concerns, including the report of the NZC's independent security consultant, Reg Dickason on safety in Kenya. "The NZC is also seeking clarification on the appropriate process through which to deal with this issue. "This matter, along with the issue of the relocation of the match and the subsequent decision on awarding the four points available from the match, will be resolved over the coming days, as the ICC, the Kenyan Cricket Association and NZC address the questions that arise from this decision," the statement said.
New Zealand said it has security concerns over playing the Group 'B' match in Kenya since a November bombing killed 16 people in Mombasa. If the ICC turns down NZC's request, Stephen Fleming's men will be docked four points, which could cost them a berth in the Super Six after losing its opening match to Sri Lanka. New Zealand defeated the West Indies in its next game, but its prospects hinge on Sunday's key clash against hosts South Africa at the Wanderers.
Sri Lanka, the other team to play in Kenya, has said it will go ahead with the February 24 game in Nairobi. The World Cup, the first to be played in Africa, is being jointly hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |