No knee-jerk reaction from Kiwis on Mumbai blasts

Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2003, 23:55 [IST]
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New Delhi: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Martin Snedden on Tuesday said the twin blasts in Mumbai will not affect the Kiwis' upcoming tour of India, starting late September. Snedden was awaiting information from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding the blasts in Mumbai's commercial hub on Monday, which claimed 52 lives besides leaving scores injured. "It's too early to know anything about it. We're just waiting for BCCI to come back to us at some stage and give us their views," Snedden was quoted as saying by a New Zealand website. The Kiwis are due to fly into Mumbai in a months time for their seven-week tour of India during which they will play two Test matches and a triangular series also involving world champions Australia.

"At this stage there's no reason to think the tour won't be proceeding." Snedden agreed he would have to reassure the players of their safety after their experience in Pakistan last May, when a fatal bomb blast outside their Karachi hotel saw them abandoning the tour. Snedden however ruled out making an immediate tour of India to assess the security arrangements for the players before the start of the series. NZC's security manager Reg Dickason would continue to check security arrangements with the BCCI as usual.

"We keep the players involved in the process and feed them information. The safety of the players will always be a major priority but we just need to be careful there's no knee-jerk reaction." New Zealand would begin their tour against the Board President's XI in Visakhapatnam on September 26, then play India 'A' in Rajkot before the two Tests in Ahmedabad and Mohali. Meanwhile, Snedden was almost certain that the team would not be playing in Karachi during the five-match tour of Pakistan in late November.

He denied reports that NZC had refused to play in Karachi but admitted they would prefer to avoid the volatile city. "I've had discussions with them as to where I'd prefer to see the team play but it's up to (the Pakistan Cricket Board) in the end as the host country. I guess they've looked at the history of that and have decided they won't send us there."

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