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Lanka tour of NZ postponed
- We fully understand the decision taken by the boards: ICC

London: Sri Lanka's tour of New Zealand has been postponed following the tsunami that devastated the Asian nation, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Wednesday.

Chief executive Malcolm Speed said the ICC was comfortable with the decision of both boards to postpone the series.

'The impact of the tsunami on Sri Lanka has been devastating and we fully understand the decision taken by the boards to postpone the series,' Speed said in a statement on Wednesday.

'In this situation where two of our members have agreed to postpone the series, there is no issue of fines or compensation.'

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) also corroborated the move. This comes after their statement on Tuesday that the players wanted to return home.

'Taking into consideration the tsunami disaster, SLC decided today to cancel the ongoing tour of New Zealand,' the statement said.

'On a request made to New Zealand Cricket, by SLC, both the members agreed to reschedule the tour at some appropriate time in future.

'The Sri Lankan cricketers have always stood by the people of this country in good times and bad times. The cancellation of this tour will enable the players to join SLC in assisting the victims affected by this grave disaster.'

Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand in the first of five one-day Internationals on Sunday and were due to play four more one-dayers and two Tests.

Under ICC regulations, a tour can only be cancelled if there is a security threat, the government of a team involved calls the side back, or if the two playing countries agree to postpone the tour. Any breach of the conditions can result in a $ 2 million fine.

'The Sri Lankan players will now be able to return to their families and the series will be replayed at a date in the future to be confirmed,' Speed added.

Martin Snedden, chief executive of New Zealand Cricket, said NZC fully understood the concerns of the Lankan players.

'As the magnitude of the recent events in Sri Lanka have unfolded, it has become more difficult for the Sri Lankan team to remain in New Zealand, and we can understand their decision as the players are expected to play a meaningful role back home with the rest of the people in Sri Lanka,' he said.

'We will now give the Sri Lankan cricket team every assistance to return home as soon as possible.'

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