Manhunt for emailer who threatened cricketers

Karachi - Pakistani police said on Tuesday that they have launched a hunt for an emailer whose threatening message to New Zealand cricketers nearly jeopardised their tour to Pakistan.

Karachi police chief Asad Ashraf Malik said the email, which threatened violence if the Kiwis played matches during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, was traced to an Internet cafe in the eastern city Lahore.

"Police have questioned staff of the cafe and they are now looking for the suspect," said Malik. He could it was too early to say if an organised group was behind the threat.

The email, sent to cricketer Craig McMillan, prompted him and three team-mates to pull out of the tour which was originally to start from November 22, five days before the end of Ramadan.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday postponed the tour by one week so that it will start November 27. It is still waiting for a final decision from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on the tour.

The Black Caps are due to play five one-day matches to make up for the 2002 tour, which was abandoned after a suicide bomber killed 14 people outside the team's hotel in Karachi in May 2002.

South Africa in September became the first country to tour Pakistan in 15 months after the May 2002 bomb attack and subsequent anti-Western terror strikes kept foreign teams away.

They played under heavy security, with Karachi and Peshawar dropped from the itinerary because of the perceived risk. - Sapa-AFP

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