CRICKET : Rutherford may quit New Zealand

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Ken Rutherford, the New Zealand captain, may be about to retire and move to South Africa, the Wellington Evening Post reported yesterday. If true it would be another blow to a luckless, troubled team that on Wednesday became the first to lose a home Test to Sri Lanka.

Rutherford had "absolutely no comment" to make about the rumours but added he might have comment "possibly some time next week."

Rutherford, in Martin Crowe's absence, is the most experienced member of the side, having played 55 Test matches, the last 17 as captain. He has scored 2,464 runs at an average of 27.07, which places him 12th on the all-time Test scorers for New Zealand. In limited- overs internationals he has scored 2,968 runs in 118 games, at an average of 28.81. Only Crowe and John Wright have scored more runs or played more games than Rutherford.

n The suspension of Salim Malik, Pakistan's former captain, from first- class cricket has been extended pending investigations into bribery charges. Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, a member of a committee supervising cricket affairs in Pakistan, said Salim had submitted his reply to the charges and the next step in the inquiry would be taken after obtaining legal opinion.