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PCB threatens to pull out of Kiwi tour

Pakistan threatened to pull its cricket team out of next month's tour of New Zealand if the Kiwis do not play five one-day internationals in Pakistan.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2003 01:51 IST

Pakistan threatened on Friday to pull its cricket team out of next month's tour of New Zealand if the Kiwis do not play five one-day internationals in Pakistan, starting with the first game at Faisalabad on Nov. 22.

New Zealand Cricket said Thursday that its team had received a letter threatening its safety on the tour of Pakistan. It said four players were unavailable for the tour- batsmen Craig McMillan, Lou Vincent, Scott Styris and fast bowler Ian Butler.

However, the four players pulled out before the threat was received. "It is a policy decision that we will not go to New Zealand if it does not come to play in Pakistan," Tauqir Zia, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, told The Associated Press Friday.

Pakistan had earlier threatened to sue the United Cricket Board of South Africa for US$7 million after the Proteas refused to tour Pakistan when a bomb exploded in an empty building in the southern port city of Karachi.

However, after revising the itinerary and excluding Karachi from the venues, the South Africans played five one-day internationals and two test matches in the cities of Faisalabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi. The PCB plans to stage five one-day internationals in the same three cities against New Zealand.

"If they (New Zealand) are not going to fulfill their obligation, we are not going to tour New Zealand," Zia said. He refused to say whether the board would sue NZC if it does not send the team to Pakistan. Pakistan is scheduled to play two test matches and five one-day internationals during the Dec. 5-Jan 21 tour to New Zealand.

New Zealand's last tour of Pakistan in May last year was cut short after a bomb exploded outside the players' Karachi hotel, killing 14 people. The five-match one-day series was planned in Pakistan to help the PCB recover from the losses.

The PCB termed the threatening letter to NZC a "hoax." "South Africa also received a similar hoax letter before coming to Pakistan, but after we gave them all the security assurances they believed us and send their team," PCB spokesman Samiul Hasan told The AP.

"We have passed the letter to the concerned authorities for further investigations," he said.

New Zealand is slated to play five one-day internationals on its short 12-day trip to Pakistan, with Faisalabad hosting the only day game on Nov. 22.

Rawalpindi is scheduled to host back-to-back day/night one-day internationals on Nov. 24 and 25 before the teams play the remaining two day/night games at Lahore on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1.

First Published: Nov 14, 2003 20:05 IST