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Since 1st March, 1999
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Patil urges NZ to reconsider
- Kirsten ‘would have’ skipped Zimbabwe; Rescheduling among ICC options

Durban, Feb. 1 (Agencies): Even as the ICC sent out conciliatory signals in London regarding New Zealand’s Kenyan reservations, saying it was looking into options of “rescheduling the match”, veteran South African batsman Gary Kirsten struck a discordant note here, saying he would have refused to go to Zimbabwe.

And former Indian Test star Sandeep Patil, now Kenya coach, has urged the Black Caps to reconsider their stand.

Kirsten did not go into the New Zealand and Kenya issue, but said had his team been scheduled to play in Zimbabwe during the World Cup, he would not go.

Kirsten said there was a genuine “security issue” around the matches in Zimbabwe. “Politics should be left to politicians. But I would not play in Zimbabwe... There is a security issue,” Kirsten was quoted as saying in media reports.

Meanwhile, in London the ICC was back-pedalling a bit (briefly reported in the late city edition) regarding New Zealand’s stand on not wanting to play their World Cup match in Kenya, talking of the word, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said it was looking at various options including “rescheduling” the game.

“I will be talking to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Martin Snedden as soon as possible to confirm the appropriate ICC disputes resolution process to be used in this instance,” ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said in a statement last night.

Speed said ICC recognised the serious security issues raised by New Zealand and he would be working to see if there was any prospect of the match proceeding or “being rescheduled.”

Tournament director Ali Bacher had, however, said New Zealand would have to forfeit the match and lose four points straightaway.

Meanwhile, Patil said New Zealand’s decision was a “blow” for the Kenyan government and the cricket board who had put in a lot of effort to make a success of the two World Cup matches allotted to the country.

“As an Indian coach of the Kenyan team, I have been living in Kenya for quite some time now and I don’t feel that the security situation is at all bad for the World Cup matches,” Patil was quoted as saying by BBC Hindi.

“Kenya has hosted the ICC Mini World Cup in 2000, LG Cup and a tri-nation tournament last year without any problems. “I hope they reconsider their decision. It will be good for the World Cup.

No problem: Lanka

Sri Lanka will honour their fixture in Kenya despite security concerns, said captain Sanath Jayasuriya in Johannesburg on Saturday. "We have no problem, we're going to play there," Jayasuriya told reporters shortly after the Sri Lankan squad arrived in South Africa.

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