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Revised itinerary for Pak-NZ series

Pakistan on Tuesday announced a revised itinerary for the New Zealand cricket tour after postponing the series by one week in the wake of threats of violence.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2003 01:53 IST

Pakistan on Tuesday announced a revised itinerary for the New Zealand cricket tour after postponing the series by one week in the wake of threats of violence.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has agreed to the new schedule proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the PCB announced in a statement.

"NZC confirmed the revised schedule of their tour to Pakistan ... and have expressed their satisfaction following extensive discussions on security and safety issues with us," the statement said.

The Black Caps will arrive in eastern city Lahore on November 27 to play five one-day matches to make up for last year's tour, which was cancelled after a suicide bomber killed 14 people outside the players' hotel in Karachi.

This month's tour was thrown into doubt after four New Zealand players pulled out in response to an anonymous email threatening violence if they played during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, due to end around November 26.

A fifth player, captain Stephen Fleming, pulled out citing injury.

Pakistani police said Tuesday they had traced the email to a sender using an Internet cafe in Lahore and launched a hunt for the suspect.

"The content of the threat reportedly said New Zealand cricketers would risk their lives if they play on the holy nights of Ramadan. Police have questioned staff of the cafe and they are now looking for the suspect," Karachi police chief Asad Ashraf Malik told AFP.

Under the new schedule the Kiwis will now play two day-night matches in Lahore on November 29 and December 1, a one day match in industrial city Faisalabad on December 3, and two day-night matches in Rawalpindi, next to the capital Islamabad, on December 5 and 7.

Fleming said he would rejoin the team if his abdominal strain heals in time.

South Africa in September became the first western side to tour Pakistan in 15 months after a series of anti-Western terror strikes in 2002 kept foreign teams away.

The Proteas played under heavy security, with the cities of Karachi and Peshawar dropped from the itinerary because of perceived risk.

Revised itinerary:

November 27: arrival in Lahore

November 29: First one-day international - Lahore (day-night)

December 1: Second one-day international - Lahore (day-night)

December 3: Third one-day international - Faisalabad

December 5: Fourth one-day international - Rawalpindi (day-night)

December 7: Fifth one-day international - Rawalpindi (day-night)

First Published: Nov 18, 2003 16:49 IST