New Zealand cancel Pakistan cricket tour

March 4th, 2009 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, March 4 (IANS) The New Zealand cricket team Wednesday cancelled their tour of Pakistan scheduled in November after Tuesday’s terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
“We’re not going and I think that’s pretty clear,” New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Justin Vaughan said. “I don’t think any international team will be going to Pakistan in the foreseeable future.

NZC’s decision comes a day after six Sri Lankan cricketers — captain Mahela Jayawaredene, his deputy Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana and Chaminda Vaas — were injured when the team bus came under heavy attack from gunmen en route to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the second Test match. Six escorting policemen were killed in the attack that took place near the Liberty Market crossing.

Vaughan said: “It’s very frightening that for the first time a cricket team appears to be the specific target of terrorist action. That’s never happened before. All previous incidents have been about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a very different proposition and I think just a very frightening one for world cricket.”

New Zealand officials are likely to meet their Pakistani counterparts at the next International Cricket Council (ICC) executive meeting in Abu Dhabi in April where they are expected to propose a neutral venue for the series.

“I think the options will probably revolve around playing them at a neutral venue,” Vaughan said. “They have played previous games in the Gulf states.”

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