New Zealand to compensate Pakistan
Published: Thursday, May 29, 2003, 22:17 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Pak seeks matches with India to revive cricket
Karachi: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has agreed to play five One-day games in Pakistan in November as compensation for last year's tour which was cut short by a bomb blast, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Thursday. "NZC agrees that the New Zealand team will visit Pakistan immediately after the conclusion of their tour of India to participate in a five-match ODI series in Pakistan," PCB said quoting a letter from the New Zealand Board. The New Zealand team, led by Stephen Fleming, left Pakistan after a suicide car bomb blast outside their hotel in Karachi on May 8 last year, shortly before the start of the Karachi Test. The blast left 14 people dead, including 11 French naval engineers. New Zealand were originally due to play a three match Test series and as many One- day games in Pakistan in September 2001 which was put off in the aftermath of terror attacks in the United States. Pakistan's cricketing woes further compounded when the West Indies, in February, and then Australia, in October last year, refused to tour Pakistan and their series were played at neutral venues. "We are delighted with the news because it would open doors for international teams to resume tours to Pakistan more regularly," said PCB chief executive Ramiz Raja. Raja on Wednesday said that international cricket's return to Pakistan would get a real boom if two One-day games, one each in Pakistan and India, take place. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has sought their government's approval to play the games in order to restore bilateral cricketing ties severed since 2000 amid tensions over the disputed region of Kashmir. Bangladesh will tour Pakistan from mid-August and play three Tests and five One-day games followed by South Africa's three Tests and three One-dayers. "We are already hosting Bangladesh and South Africa between August and October but the tour by the Black Caps will be significant as they were the last team to come to Pakistan before their tour was curtailed because of reasons beyond PCBs control," Raja said. Pakistan had demanded monetary compensation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) during its meetings in London last year and then in Johannesburg, South Africa in March this year. NZC had agreed to compensate Pakistan by playing either a Test or five One-day games. "New Zealand's acceptance also indicates that we were not only able to convince NZC but also the ICC that Pakistan was a safe country to play cricket," he said.