Vaughan - NZ tour 'highly unlikely'
New Zealand Cricket's chief executive has back-tracked from his earlier assertion that they would not tour Pakistan later this year.
Last Updated: 04/03/09 8:49am
New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan has back-tracked from his earlier assertion that the Black Caps would not tour Pakistan later this year.
Speaking on Radio New Zealand in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore on Tuesday, Vaughan said they would not travel to contest a series scheduled in November.
However, he has now said that a final decision was still some months away.
"I can confirm that we haven't made a final decision on the Pakistan tour for November," he said.
"Although I think it is highly unlikely that we will be playing in Pakistan I think in terms of getting official board confirmation, as well as following the correct process and also wanting to discuss and get agreement from Pakistan Cricket, we won't be able to confirm the actual arrangements for our November tour for some months."
Vaughan said he will discuss the possibility of moving the matches to a neutral venue when he meets Pakistan counterparts in April.
"I think we need to explore what sort of options there are, allow the dust to settle after Lahore and then explore with them what options there might be," he said.
"Things like perhaps playing Pakistan in neutral venues. I think there are options we can look at."
Pakistan have previously played matches in the Gulf States and Abu Dhabi and Vaughan said: "I think that would appear like an obvious solution but again those are things that are being considered now.
"Certainly at the end of April I know Australia are scheduled to play some one-day internationals in Abu Dhabi so we would be keen to see how that event went.
"I'd be hopeful that (neutral venues were) something Pakistan Cricket as well see as their best alternative."
Despite the attack, Vaughan was adamant that international cricket in Asia should continue.
"We have to find a way to play cricket in Asia. It is the heartbeat of the game, there is no denying that," he added.
"Those countries are more passionate about cricket than any other countries. We must find a way to be able to stage international cricket in the region.
"Now, what the future is for hosting international cricket inside Pakistan, I think that is a really difficult question to find a good solution for currently.
"But I think all of international cricket is obliged to look at this very seriously and try and find solutions."