[This article was originally published on the defunct Cricketwoman website in 2001. – RE]
The New Zealand White Ferns tour of India set down for late November and December has been cancelled due to security concerns.
The decision to call the tour off was announced on November 1 by New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden, who said in a press release that it was an “extremely difficult decision” to reach, but that “the level of risk which exists here [in touring India] is unacceptable.”
Snedden went on to say that, unlike security arrangements promised by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) for the English men’s tour of India, which begins in a fortnight, the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) would be unable to organise special security arrangements. Snedden added that the WCAI is an organisation which has a voluntary administration and few resources.
Snedden said that the players had not been consulted about the cancellation of the tour. “This is a team of amateur players. It did not seem right to me for New Zealand Cricket to place any degree of responsibility on the players to make the decision.”
CricInfo reports that New Zealand captain Emily Drumm felt “gutted” when she learned of the tour’s cancellation, but had no problems with the decision made by NZC CEO Snedden.
WCAI secretary Anuradha Dutt was reported by CricInfo as expressing regret upon receiving notification of the NZC’s decision. Disagreeing with Snedden’s viewpoint, Dutt said “I can’t really imagine the New Zealand women being in any real danger in India.”
“They’d be much safer here than in many western countries,” Dutt said. “But it’s their psychological perception that matters, and I can’t really make a decision for them.”
New Zealand were to have played three tour matches, five one-day internationals and one Test between November 29 and December 21. The first five matches on the tour would have been played at Delhi and neighbouring Faridabad, before moving north to Chandigarh – approximately 200km from the Pakistani border and 700km from Afghanistan – for one match on December 6. The remaining matches on tour were set for Lucknow, Calcutta and Jamshedpur, in the north-east of India.
The White Ferns, who were unable to secure a replacement international series, will now have to wait until their three-ODI tour of Australia in February for their next international experience. India are scheduled to receive the England team in February before visiting South Africa.
NZC press release
CricInfo report on Anuradha Dutt’s reaction