Aftermath of Lahore attack March 4, 2009

New Zealand play down reports Pakistan tour scrapped

Cricinfo staff
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New Zealand Cricket has denied that it has definitely decided to cancel its proposed tour of Pakistan in November after the deadly attack targeting Sri Lanka's team there, despite comments to that effect from chief executive Justin Vaughan.

Speaking on local television, Vaughan said: "We're not going and I think that's pretty clear. I don't think any international team will be going to Pakistan in the foreseeable future.

"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."

But within hours an official statement from the board contained less definite comments from Vaughan. "Staging our tour in Pakistan in November-December would appear very unlikely, but there is no final decision as yet. We will discuss the security issue with the Pakistan Cricket Board at the next ICC meeting, and we are likely to look at options such as the use of neutral venues.

"Player safety and security is of paramount importance," he added. "We will work closely with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association as we work through arrangements."