Johannesburg: New Zealand's bid to switch its World Cup clash against Kenya from Nairobi to South Africa has failed, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Thursday. The decision means that four points will be awarded to the Kenyans after the ICC's executive board decided that the game, which was due to take place on Friday, will not be moved to another ground. The Kiwis, who had refused to play the match because of their fears over the security situation in Kenya, now face a tough battle to reach the next stage of the World Cup.
They have eight points after beating the West Indies and South Africa and now must win their remaining Group 'B' games against Bangladesh and Canada to keep up their hopes of making the Super Sixes. "The ICC executive board resolved that the World Cup match between Kenya and New Zealand scheduled for Friday, February 21, will not be rescheduled and the points will be awarded to Kenya," said an ICC statement.
"Further to an application for the re-location of the match made by New Zealand Cricket (NZC), the Board met by telephone to consider the issue. "NZC's request to move the match to an alternative venue was opposed by the Kenya Cricket Association (KCA). The Board rejected NZC's request and, as New Zealand has decided not to travel to Kenya or apply to the event technical committee, the four points have been awarded to Kenya."
The decision came a week after the ICC had refused England's application to have it Group 'A' game against Zimbabwe moved from Harare to South Africa after the team claimed it had been the target of death threats. Zimbabwe, too, was awarded the four points after England boycotted the game. "I am happy that the matter is now resolved and that the World Cup can move forward," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said. "At the same time we have already seen some fantastic matches in this tournament and I am disappointed that this match will not be taking place." Copyright AFP 2001