The 2nd Test versus New Zealand was called off late this morning after the bomb blast on the road outside the hotel, where the two teams were staying. This was announced by the Match Referee, Mr Mike Procter, at a press conference at the same hotel. Director PCB, the New Zealand Manager, Mr Jeff Crowe and Security Manager Mr Reg Dickason also expressed themselves at the conference.

This was done after the Chief Executive New Zealand Cricket, after due consultation with his team and management in Pakistan asked the PCB for the team to be sent back home immediately.

The blast occurred at around 7:50 am, when the two teams were in the breakfast area, almost ready to leave for the stadium. No cricket player or administrator was hurt by the blast, except that the New Zealand physio had a small cut on him arm and the Pakistan Liasion Officer suffered from temporary shock.

The Match Referee, the New Zealand Manager and Security Manager, speaking at the press conference expressed their complete and unqualified satisfaction at the very high degree of security that had been extended to them individually and as a team. They had no problems and were feeling very comfortable and at ease before this happened, they said. They thanked the PCB for it's efforts.

The Director PCB regretted the whole incident very deeply. He said that the PCB and local administrations at all venues in the country had done their best that they could. However, no one can control such totally extraneous events, he said. He expressed his regrets on the sorry incident on behalf of the PCB and on his personal behalf.

The Chairman PCB Lt Gen Tauqir Zia, who was kept informed of the events, while attending a conference, in Rawalpindi, expressed his regrets at the unfortunate ending to a lively, smooth and well co-ordinated tour.

Arrangements have been put in place for the New Zealand team and ICC Match Officials to fly out, late in the evening today.

The PCB also regrets inconvenience caused to cricket fans across the country and specially the ones in Karachi.

Khalid Butt
Media Manager
May 8, 2002