Some members of the Afghanistan cricket team here for the Under-19 World Cup cricket team will avoid eating meat during the rest of the tournament until they leave the country this Saturday.

Team manager Sayed Shah Aminzai told SportToday yesterday players and management in Napier were reluctant to eat meat of any description after they were served toasted ham sandwiches on Sunday morning at the Nelson Park pavilion.

"I was one of the persons who ate it with one or two other players but the rest of the team is upset," Aminzai said from McLean Park, where Afghanistan were playing Hong Kong yesterday.

Former Central Districts prolific run scorer Mike Shrimpton is helping coach the players from that war-torn part of the world.

Aminzai said the incident was unfortunate and his team did not hold New Zealand Cricket responsible for the blunder but they had reservations about still having to deal with a liaison officer from Napier who was still attending to their needs.

Aminzai said of the liaison officer: "He's more interested in coaching and selection of teams so we blame them [NZ Cricket] ... we requested to have him replaced but he's still involved."

NZ Cricket media manager Stephen Hill said last night it had been in discussions with the Afghanistan management and its chief executive to resolve the matter.

"We regret the mistake ... and we've conveyed our apologies through the Afghanistan management," Hill said.

"We have 16 teams here over 20 days being taken care of and we've done our utmost to give them a good experience of New Zealand - and we've done that pretty well except for that one slip."

NZ Cricket and the International Cricket Council (ICC) trusted the issue had been resolved, he said.

They also had "full confidence" in all their liaison officers who had done an "outstanding job" in meeting teams' requirements.

Afghans, who are devout Muslims, practise their Islamic faith with fervour within the ambits of "halal" and "haram".

The former pertains to consuming meat and drinks which Allah (God) would approve as laid out in their scriptures, the Quran.

The latter prohibits the consumption of some foods and drinks - and pig meat, its byproducts and alcohol are at the top of that list.

Other types of meat blessed according to Islamic rites are acceptable.

Aminzai was thankful yesterday meat served earlier in the age-group World Cup was subject to halal but now any meat fell in the category of "mushbooh" (doubtful of its halal status).

"Even before coming to New Zealand we had discussed all these issues with Air New Zealand.

"We have 30 million people at home who are strict and nobody eats ham," Aminzai said, adding he had "lost it" and immediately contacted NZ Cricket officials who seemed more bent on "throwing a blanket" over the issue than trying to help them.

It disturbed players who had approached him, feeling as if they were being taught how to live and "deal with simple things".

"It's like we're not from civilised nations and you're teaching us how to live."

He said those who had eaten the toasted ham sandwiches on Sunday were mentally coming to grips with what their religion considered "sinful" , although Islam did allow for those who ate haram unknowingly.

"It's like food poisoning. We couldn't sleep and it affects your mind too," said Aminzai. His team were yesterday served fish, which is among the list of halal foods.

- HAWKE'S BAY TODAY