India decline to tour New Zealand this month

Published: Thursday, January 6, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has expressed its inability to accept the invitation of New Zealand Cricket to tour that country this month to fill up the gap created due to pull out by Sri Lanka from a proposed tour because of tsunami devastations.

"We cannot accept the invitation and we have conveyed our regret to the New Zealand Cricket," S K Nair, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said over phone.

It was learnt that the cricket board decided against accepting the invitation as it wanted to give the Indian cricketers proper rest before the crucial full-fledged series against Pakistan next month.

The Pakistani team would be touring India after a gap of more than five years to play three Test matches and five One-day Internationals.

The chief executive officer of the NZC, Martin Sneddon, had earlier requested BCCI to send the Indian team for a brief bilateral tour after Sri Lanka decided to pull out of a proposed tour due to tsunami tragedy.

The invitation was made since Indian team was the only team, which was free in the month of January.

A report from Auckland said that after India declined to tour New Zealand, NZC was trying to organise a World XI series to salvage the first half of their summer international programme.

Incidentally, most of the international stars would be seen in action in a tsunami charity match at Melbourne on January 10 when an ICC XI, led by Australia's Ricky Ponting, and an ACC XI, led by India's Saurav Ganguly, would play a One-day match.

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