New Zealand postpones Zimbabwe tour

Updated: 16 March 2010 17:25 IST

New Zealand has postponed its cricket tour to Zimbabwe scheduled for June, officials said on Monday.

New Zealand postpones Zimbabwe tour
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Wellington:

New Zealand has postponed its cricket tour to Zimbabwe scheduled for June, officials said on Monday.

But New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said the series could be played at a neutral venue, possibly in June next year.

Vaughan told Radio New Zealand the tour had been cancelled on the advice of the New Zealand government.

"They're recommending that we postpone the tour and seek to play it in some other venue," he said.

This is the second year New Zealand has decided to postpone the tour originally scheduled for the middle of last year.

Prime Minister John Key said the main concerns was for player safety.

"Primarily my concerns are around the safety and security of the players. They are the major issues when we last looked at this issue about a year ago," he told a press conference.

Key said although some progress appeared to have been made in the political situation in Zimbabwe, there were still concerns about the safety and security of the players.

Zimbabwe has been battered by a decade of political turmoil and increasing poverty but the situation has calmed somewhat after President Robert Mugabe and longtime rival Morgan Tsvangirai formed a national unity government a year ago.

Vaughan said he had informed the Zimbabwe cricket authorities about the decision and was waiting for a response.

New Zealand last toured Zimbabwe in 2005, for two Tests and a one-day tri-series including India, after then prime minister Helen Clark strongly urged the team not to go but stopped short of ordering them to stay home.

Topics : Cricket
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