New Zealand likely to field under-strength side for Pakistan ODIs

July 20th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Auckland, July 20 (IANS) New Zealand player’s association chief Heath Mill said that it is unlikely they will have a full strength side for the three-match one-day series in Pakistan next month, before the start of Champions Trophy in September. The one-day series will be held in Multan and Faisalabad Aug 24-30. While the Champions Trophy is due to be held in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore Sept 11-28.

According to New Zealand Herald, before leaving for Dubai for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) security briefing, Mills said even if the ICC gave Pakistan a go ahead to host the Champions Trophy in September, it didn’t mean there wouldn’t be a number of high-profile withdrawals.

Mills reiterated that several players have expressed concern to him and the only reason nobody has come out and said “no” to the tour “is because nobody has yet asked them that question directly”.

There are fresh security fears in the subcontinent country following a suicide blast in Islamabad earlier this month that killed 19 people. The largest city, Karachi, has also been hit by a series of bombings.

Pakistan hosted the six-nation Asia Cup without any incident in June and July and officials remain bullish about their ability to host a tournament that will likely shift to either Sri Lanka, South Africa or England if security reports are damning.

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