Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has accepted a proposal from New Zealand to delay the start of their five-match one-day series by a week.
The tour became doubtful after four players — Craig McMillan, Scott Styris, Lou Vincent and Ian Butler — pulled out last week and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) authorities also received a threatening e-mail advising them not to play during the holy month of Ramazan.
On Monday, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming pulled out with a stomach muscle injury. “We have sent the revised itinerary to them and hopefully everything should be finalised by Tuesday,” PCB spokesman Samiul Hasan said on Monday.
The New Zealand team was due to arrive in Pakistan on Thursday to play matches in Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore.
But NZC requested a delay after getting feedback on the seriousness of the threat. The tour is now tentatively scheduled from November 27 to December 7.
Despite New Zealand’s concerns, Hasan insisted that the PCB had revised the itinerary because of the Black Caps’ injury problems rather than the safety issue. “The New Zealanders wanted the tour to be delayed by a week as many of their players are injured and they wanted time for them to recover for the one-day series,” Hasan said. “Since the New Zealanders are in India and as per ICC (International Cricket Council) regulations there should be a 10 day gap,” Hasan maintained.
“The revised schedule of the matches would be announced tomorrow but the changed itinerary obviously means that Pakistan’s tour to New Zealand would also be revised.”
The upcoming series has been arranged to compensate Pakistan for New Zealand’s abandoned tour in May last year following a bomb blast outside the team’s Karachi hotel.
Earlier, Fleming ruled himself out due to an abdominal injury that forced him to miss Saturday’s tri-series match in Hyderabad. (Agencies)