New Zealand cricket chiefs yesterday backed the idea of fundraising matches for victims of the Pakistan floods, but ruled out the prospect of the Black Caps travelling there. Nadeem Sawar, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official, claimed on Sunday that New Zealand had offered to play there to raise funds, but Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said his message to the PCB had been misconstrued.
"At no point did we offer that the Black Caps would be touring as they certainly won't be playing there this year," Vaughan said. "But it would be nice to think that in a cricket-loving country such as Pakistan that cricket could play a part in alleviating some of the suffering that is going on there." International cricket came to an abrupt end in Pakistan in March last year after a attack on the touring Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
The near month-long floods in Pakistan have killed 1,500 people and affected up to 20 million in the country's worst natural disaster. But with foreign cricket teams not prepared to play in the country because of security concerns, Vaughan said it was up to the PCB to organise fundraisers outside the country. Heath Mills, the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association manager, backed the idea of cricket to raise money, but added: "At this point in time there is no way anyone can consider putting a cricket team into Pakistan to play."
* Agence France-Presse