Sun, Nov 30, 2003 - Page 23 News List

New Zealand, Pakistan face off despite hazards


New Zealand captain Chris Cairns won the toss yesterday and elected to bat first against Pakistan as six Kiwi players made one-day international debuts.

Batsmen Craig Cumming, Richard Jones and Hamish Marshall along with seamers Matthew Walker, Kerry Walmsley and Michael Mason all were included for the first game of the five-match series.

Surprisingly experienced all-rounder Chris Haris and fast bowler Darly Tuffey were rested despite the fact that Kiwis are missing five key players for the short series.

Paceman Mohammad Sami will lead the attack in the absence of Shoaib Akhtar, who will miss the first two games after he was suspended for using offensive language in the first test against South Africa last month.

The tour was delayed by one week when an e-mail was received by a New Zealand diplomatic post, threatening the team's safety.

The e-mail, sent from Pakistan, linked its threat to the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ended three days ago.

Craig McMillan, Lou Vincent, Ian Butler and Scot Styris pulled out of the tour before the treatening email.

Captain Stephen Fleming withdrew from the tour due to abdominal injury which also kept him out from the last match of the triangular series in India.


* New Zealand: Chris Cairns (captain), Craig Cumming, Richard Jones, Hamish Marshall, Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum, Jacob Oram, Mathew Sinclair, Daniel Vettori (vice-captain), Matthew Walker, Kerry Walmsley

* Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain) , Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Yousuf Youhana, , Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Moin Khan, Danish Kaneria, Shabbir Ahmed, Mohammad Sami

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