Australian cricketers could boycott next month’s IPL if safety concerns not addressed.
|Tennis New Zealand have raised concerns over player safety in Pakistan [GALLO/GETTY]|
Pakistan are objecting to a push by Tennis New Zealand to hold their Davis Cup tie in a neutral venue after raising concerns over security.
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka 3-2 in Colombo earlier in the week to advance to an Asia-Oceania zone group two semi-final against Pakistan, which the International Tennis Federation (ITF) originally scheduled for Pakistan from July 9-11.
But Tennis New Zealand officials have requested to move the tie to either New Zealand or a neutral venue.
Pakistan Tennis Federation secretary Rashid Khan said that New Zealand should either travel to Pakistan for the matches or forfeit.
“We want the ITF to either allow us to host the tie in Pakistan or award us a walkover against New Zealand,” Khan said.
Khan cited the ITF’s decision to fine Australia $10,000 last year when they refused to play an Asia/Oceania Zone group match in the Indian city of Chennai for security reasons.
“The ITF should give us a walkover like they awarded to India when Australia refused to travel to Chennai,” he said.
Tennis New Zealand had contacted the ITF to express their security concerns over playing in Pakistan.
“We spoke to the ITF last December when the draw came out and they said they would not review the situation until both Pakistan and New Zealand got through the first round,” Tennis New Zealand operations manager Tracy Hall said.
|In depth: Sport under fire|
“As of today we have e-mailed the ITF asking about the process and what we need to do to have it reviewed.”
Hall said the ITF had already shown flexibility in its scheduling by having the first round tie between Pakistan and Hong Kong-China moved from Pakistan to the former British colony.
Pakistan have played their last three Davis Cup ties – against Oman, the Philippines and Hong Kong – away from home due to foreign teams’ security reservations over travelling to Pakistan.
Pakistan has recently been viewed as a security risk for international sports teams following last year’s attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
Following this incident, Pakistan lost their rights to co-host the 2011 cricket World Cup and played their ‘home’ cricket series against Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates.