6 Mar 2009

Black Caps tour of Pakistan called off

7:12 am on 6 March 2009

New Zealand Cricket has confirmed that the Black Caps will not tour Pakistan in December as planned.

Chief executive Justin Vaughan says Tuesday's ambush of the Sri Lankan team in Lahore raises the security threat to a new level.

Up to 14 gunmen took part in the attack which killed six policemen and a driver and injured eight members of the Sri Lankan squad.

Mr Vaughan says it is unlikely any international team will travel to Pakistan in the foreseeable future.

He says playing Pakistan at a neutral venue later this year is still a possibility.

Black arm bands were worn by Indian and New Zealand cricketers and the umpires at a one-day international match in Napier this week after news of the attack was announced.

Meanwhile, batsman Virendar Sehwag has sought to reassure New Zealand cricketers involved in the Indian Premier League that they will be safe, in the wake of the terrorist attack.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who plays with Sehwag in the New Delhi IPL side, says Sehwag has spoken with him about the ramifications of the attack.

Vettori says he was reassured that India can look after touring teams.

The popular tournament is due to resume in early April. Eight New Zealand players are contracted to sides in the IPL.

However, pressure is mounting to postpone the tournament due to security concerns and elections being held in India at the same time.