We wont play in Kenya, say New Zealand
WELLINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - New Zealand Cricket says its team will not play its scheduled World Cup match in Kenya next month, claiming the security risk for players is too high.
New Zealand Cricket said after a day-long board meeting on Friday that it did not believe the decision to play in the Kenyan capital Nairobi made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday was reasonable.
"The information received by the ICC Security Delegation to Kenya made it clear that there is a tangible terrorist threat in Nairobi and the board has seen nothing which changes that," NZ Cricket said in a statement.
Zimbabwe and Kenya retained their preliminary matches for the World Cup after a special ICC tele-conference on Thursday to discuss potential security fears.
The ICC rejected a plea by New Zealand to switch their February 21 match against Kenya from Nairobi to South Africa, while no formal resolution was presented by England to shift their game against Zimbabwe away from Harare.
NZ Cricket said it would now resolve the matter through "legal processes" but gave no details.
It has potential recourse to a six-man ICC technical committee which has the power from Sunday to consider any appeal to move matches for security reasons.
Six World Cup matches are scheduled for Zimbabwe and two in Nairobi. The remaining 46 games in the tournament opening in Cape Town on February 9 will take place in South Africa.
New Zealand Cricket had urged the world governing body to move their match after a security review discovered "active terrorist organisations" operating in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
But ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said there were no sufficient reasons to move the game.
Speed said only New Zealand and England had voted in favour of transferring the match while the Netherlands, who have a game scheduled for Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, had abstained.
NZ Foreign Minister Phil Goff said he understood why NZ Cricket had chosen to default the match.
Though there is no specific information that said the World Cup or New Zealanders were being targeted, the intention of terrorists was to target Westerners for maximum publicity, Goff said.
"The current controversy may have heightened the threat by giving the event greater profile," he said.
The tournament has been plagued by doubts over plans to hold games in both Zimbabwe and Kenya, where security fears sharpened after a suicide bombing killed 16 people in an attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in the Kenyan city of Mombasa.
Kiwi cricketers have been close to three terror attacks in Sri Lanka and last May the team pulled out of a tour of Pakistan after a bomb attack outside their hotel in Karachi killed 12 people.
Kenyas new President Mwai Kibaki pledged last week to beef up security for the two World Cup matches in the east African country.
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