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August 22, 2008
A decision on whether to tour Pakistan should not come down to individual New Zealand players as younger members of the squad may feel pressured into going, according to Heath Mills. The future of next month's Champions Trophy should become much clearer after a telephone hook-up on Sunday.
Once the ICC has decided whether to go ahead with the tournament in Pakistan, or shift or postpone it, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) will announce on Monday whether they will send a team. Mills, the executive manager of the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA), said if the Champions Trophy went ahead in Pakistan there was no way NZC should participate and expect individual players to decide whether to tour.
"There will be a considerable amount of pressure on young player and fringe players to go," Mills told Fairfax Media on Friday. "They will not feel secure in their place in the team so they will be under pressure to go. They will have a difficult decision, they will be torn, and some of them will feel they have to go."
His comments came after the Taliban claimed responsibility for dual suicide bombings on Thursday that killed at least 60 people outside a munitions factory in the Pakistani city of Wah. Mills said there was: "every real chance our players could get caught in some incident".
Meanwhile defence minister Phil Goff said New Zealand Cricket should be looking at what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised. "That advisory is that New Zealanders should not travel to Pakistan," Goff told TV3.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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