First Pak­istan Test still on af­ter New Zealand quake

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The first test be­tween New Zealand and Pak­istan is sched­uled to go head this week af­ter en­gi­neers checked the safety of the Christchurch cricket venue fol­low­ing a mas­sive earth­quake that rat­tled the cen­tre of the coun­try early yes­ter­day.

The pow­er­ful 7.8 mag­ni­tude earth­quake pum­melled cen­tral New Zealand’s South Is­land, killing at least two peo­ple, dam­ag­ing roads and build­ings and set­ting off hun­dreds of strong af­ter­shocks.

It was felt strongly in Christchurch, South Is­land’s largest city, which was hit by a 6.3 quake in 2011 that killed 185 peo­ple. New Zealand Cricket of­fi­cials told re­porters in Christchurch yes­ter­day the match would go ahead. Both teams ar­rived in the city on Mon­day, with the Pak­istan side ar­riv­ing from Nel­son, where they felt the tremors.

“It was pretty scary, it re­ally was,” Pak­istan coach Mickey Arthur told TVNZ. “We were on the sev­enth floor of the ho­tel and it was pretty scary.

“The boys all raced down stairs and most of the guys slept in the team room last night. They were a bit scared to go back up to their rooms.”

New Zealand bowler Matt Henry, who lives in Christchurch, added he had been wo­ken by the ini­tial quake, which struck shortly af­ter mid­night yes­ter­day. “I was just lay­ing in bed and woke up to quite a long rum­ble, so a bit scary,” Henry told re­porters.

“They are ob­vi­ously a bit hard to get used to. You kind of sit there wait­ing to see if you need to re­act or if you can sit tight. It was quite a long rum­ble this one.” With parts of north Can­ter­bury and around the tourist town of Kaik­oura dev­as­tated, Henry said he hoped the test would help bring peo­ple to­gether.

“I think (cricket) al­ways brings a com­mu­nity to­gether,” Henry said. “For a brief mo­ment, you can get back to a bit of nor­mal­ity. “It’s prob­a­bly good tim­ing to have the test match this week and it will be a re­ally good oc­ca­sion.”

Henry said his team mates would be con­scious of safety con­cerns at their ho­tel in Christchurch. “I’m sure a lot of them will want to stay on the lower lev­els,” he added. — Reuters

HARARE: Zim­babe bowler Ti­nashe Panyan­gara is in ac­tion dur­ing the open­ing match of an ODI se­ries Sri Lanka vs Zim­babwe in Harare, yes­ter­day. —AFP

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