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New Zealand will forfeit points: Bacher
Andy Colquhoun |
January 31, 2003 15:57 IST
New Zealand's World Cup match against Kenya will not be switched to South Africa and the Black Caps will forfeit their points, the tournament's chief organiser Ali Bacher said on Friday.
Bacher, executive director of cricket's showpiece, was speaking after Friday's decision by New Zealand Cricket not to honour the World Cup fixture in Nairobi on February 21 because of security concerns.
"The International Cricket Council has ruled that the match will not be replayed in South Africa and New Zealand would forfeit the points," Bacher told a press conference to welcome the Kenya team at Johannesburg airport on Friday.
"It's unfortunate that the New Zealand Cricket board meeting has taken the decision that they will not honour their obligation to play in Nairobi.
"We share your (Kenya's) disappointment that the game will not take place as scheduled. Having said that we must respect the decision of the New Zealand cricket council."
"The show must go on and we will make sure this is a wonderful event for Africa."
NZC said in a statement on Friday that its team would not play the match because there is "a tangible terrorist threat in Nairobi".
Security fears about Kenya were heightened after a suicide bombing killed 16 people in an attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in the city of Mombasa in November. Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Kenya's High Commissioner to South Africa, Ciarunji Chefaina, was surprised by NZC's decision.
"We have already put in place all the measures we were asked to," he told the media conference. "No one has requested any further security measures so that's why this decision has come as a shock.
"But we are keeping calm. We are not getting excited."
Kenya captain Steve Tikolo was disappointed, but said the extra points would make his team's challenge to qualify from Pool B that much easier.
"We are disappointed New Zealand are not coming to Kenya but the show must go on -- what we promised to do is play promising cricket," he said.
"Obviously this puts us in a good position. We just need two more wins and certainly three and we would be through."
The second match due to be played in Nairobi -- between Kenya and Sri Lanka -- is scheduled to take place on February 24.
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