New Zealand deny offer to play in Pakistan

Justin Vaughan, New Zealand cricket's chief executive Getty Images

New Zealand have denied making any offer to tour Pakistan to help raise funds for victims of the floods that have devastated much of the country over the last month. A PCB official told Cricinfo on Sunday than an offer had been made by NZC to help out the PCB, possibly through a flood relief game.

"An offer has been made by New Zealand cricket to help with the devastation in Pakistan, maybe through a flood relief game," Nadeem Sarwar, the PCB media manager said. "It is at a very early stage just now but they have even said they would be willing to come to Pakistan if needed for that."

But Justin Vaughan, chief executive NZC, said that though he had sent an email, at no point did he suggest that New Zealand would be touring Pakistan, a move which would herald the return of international cricket to the country after the terror attacks on Sri Lanka in Lahore in March 2009.

Vaughan told NZPA that an email had been sent to the PCB suggesting that cricket had a part to play in helping alleviate the suffering "but certainly it should not be construed that the Black Caps would be going to play there.

"At no point did we offer that the Black Caps would be touring as they certainly won't be playing there this year. But it would be nice to think that in a cricket-loving country such as Pakistan that cricket could play a part in alleviating some of the suffering that is going on there."

The stance was backed by New Zealand Cricket Players' Association manager Heath Mills, who said that security concerns remain the biggest obstacle to any such idea. "[But] at this point in time there is no way anyone can consider putting a cricket team into Pakistan to play," Mills said. "There remain significant security concerns over the safety of players and a number of issues identified following the attack on the Sri Lankan players have yet to be resolved."

Mills added that the floods had diverted the attention of security forces "which is what you would expect but, if anything, the security risk will be greater now than at any other time so I don't see the Black Caps going to Pakistan in the short term. But if there are ways to help the people of Pakistan, the cricketing community should be doing everything to help."

Cricinfo does not usually endorse public donation efforts but the scale of devastation that the floods have caused in Pakistan constitutes exceptional circumstances. While we cannot take responsibility for any donations made, here are a couple of organisations you could consider if you are looking to help:

The Imran Khan Flood Relief Fund: http://ptiuk.org/flood-appeal/

The Zindagi Trust: http://zindagitrust.org/donation-flood-disaster-relief.asp

There are a number of other organisations working towards the same goals and a comprehensive list of them can be found here: http://www.chowrangi.com/donation-links-and-relief-resources-for-pakistan-flood-victims.html