New Zealand stars may skip Pakistan tour

Published: Saturday, June 7, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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London: The unstable security situation in Pakistan has prompted New Zealand cricketers to express concern over touring the volatile South Asian country for a three-match ODI series and the Champions Trophy in September.

Senior New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram admits the upcoming tour of Pakistan is looming as a ''massive issue'' as players weigh up whether to go or stay.

While Oram was tight-lipped about a 'Herald Sun' report that some senior players were uncomfortable with the tour, he confirmed the issue was raised at a recent team meeting.

The one-dayers will be played before the Chamnpions Trophy.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said players would be have the opportunity to pull out of the tour without any impact on their contractual obligations, or implications for future selection.

It raises the prospect of a young, inexperienced side touring, if senior players follow through with their concerns.

''It's a massive issue for players and everyone concerned. It's still a while away, nothing in my head's been made up either way,'' Oram said.

''I'll really have to sit down with my wife and family and make decisions.

It is understood some New Zealand players were uncomfortable with this, especially after Australia cancelled their scheduled tour earlier this year because of security reasons.

Oram said New Zealand's Cricket Players' Association boss Heath Mills met with the team before last month's first test at Lord's, and Pakistan was one of the issues raised.

''There are security issues going on so there will have to be talks, definitely,'' Oram said.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will provide the security report for the Champions Trophy, with Sri Lanka on standby as backup hosts.

Earlier this week a suicide bomber killed six people and injured 30 outside the Danish embassy in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.


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