Oz, Zealand willing to support Pak; not at cost of teams' security

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Lahore, Aug 16 (UNI) Asserting that a strong Pakistan is essiantial for world cricket, the cricket boards of Australia and New Zealand said they are willing to support the strife-torn country but not at the cost of their teams' security.

''We want to support the PCB particularly. World cricket needs Pakistan cricket to be strong so we need to support them. But at the moment, only on this point of time with a lot of happening in Pakistan, we have a lot of concerns,'' New Zealand Players Association Chief Executive Heath Mills was quoted as saying by Geo News.

Echoing the same view, Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young said, ''Safety is being the prime concern. We are keen to help Pakistan but not at the cost of sending our teams to play in conditions which are deemed unsafe and unstable by security and intelligence agencies.'' Mills further stated, ''Who knows that somewhere in the future, very soon, those concerns won't be there and we would be able to tour Pakistan as we did in 2002 and 2003. Ultimately, it's the ICC's and the Board's decision to make what they want to do. We'll have to wait and see what reports does the task force give back to the ICC next week.'' However, replying to a query on New Zealand's tour of Pakistan in 2003, Mills said, ''It was quite a different situation then with just one team. But now there would be eight teams, who need to be provided security.'' UNI XC PY AB BD2008

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