Pakistan in New Zealand 2009-10 November 28, 2009

News agencies boycott Dunedin Test

Cricinfo staff

International news agencies have boycotted the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand in Dunedin because of problems with the PCB's newly-implemented terms and conditions for media. The deadlock shows few signs of ending even as the first Test drew to a close.

Agencies such as AFP, AP and Reuters refused to sign the PCB's media accreditation terms and conditions and refused to cover the series after the first day of the Dunedin Test. Though both sides have been in negotiations, with a break in Pakistan for Eid until early next week and the second Test due to begin on Thursday, chances of a breakthrough appear slim.

Details of the contentious clauses are unclear, but the PCB said it had conceded a number of points and that agencies were asking for more. "We have made a number of changes, even though we didn't need to, but they have asked for more," Nadeem Sarwar, PCB's general manager of media, told Cricinfo. "The other changes they are asking for require detailed legal input and we have to refer to our lawyers over them to see if they can be done."

The series in New Zealand is actually a 'home' series for Pakistan, after it was shifted out of the country because of security concerns, so the media accreditation process is the PCB's. The PCB said the policy was "aligned" with that of the ICC and that conditions were the same as those that applied during the ODI leg of the series, played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai earlier this month, which was covered by all the agencies. "They are the same conditions as those that applied in Abu Dhabi and are aligned with the ICC media terms and conditions for the Champions Trophy and the upcoming U-19 World Cup," Sarwar said.

The problems are believed to be similar to the ones news agencies and Cricket Australia have faced recently, which led to no coverage by those agencies of any Tests in Australia over the last two summers.