New Zealand calls off women's tour of India

NEW DELHI, NOV. 1. The Indian tour of the New Zealand women's cricket team for five one-dayers and a Test match from November 24 has been cancelled.

Security has been quoted as the reason by the chief executive officer of New Zealand Cricket Inc., Martin Snedden, in his letter to the Women's Cricket Association of India (WCAI).

``Be assured that I have reached this decision after very long and careful consideration of the relevant issues and in the genuine belief that there exists a safety risk for our players which is not acceptable,'' said Snedden in his fax message, highlighting the tension in the region, following the retaliation of the U.S. in bombing Afghanistan, after the September 11 terrorist attack.

The one-dayers against the World Cup champion New Zealand, were scheduled to be held from December 4 in Delhi, Faridabad, Lucknow, Patna and Kolkata. The Test was to be held in Dhanbad.

The WCAI secretary, Ms. Anuradha Dutta, has stated that the Indian team would now look forward to the tour by England, which is scheduled to arrive on January 3, for five one-dayers and a Test.

``WCAI is also proposing to request New Zealand to tour India in February,''said Ms. Anuradha Dutta.

- Our Special Correspondent

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