Bangalore: The International Cricket Council's (ICC) security delegation is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe later on Tuesday to begin a three-day inspection of the security arrangements and preparations ahead of the World Cup 2003, according to an official press release.
The delegation headed by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed will review security arrangements for all teams scheduled to play in Zimbabwe during the World Cup, to ensure that any real or perceived security concerns held by the countries playing in Zimbabwe are identified and addressed, the press release said. "The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) is a full member of the ICC and has the right to host these games. They are very important both commercially and promotionally for the sport in Zimbabwe," Speed said.
"Nevertheless, it is clear that in some countries there are genuine safety and security concerns that need to be addressed," he said. "This visit gives every country and other key stakeholders the chance to put on the table any concerns they might have. We will be able to judge for ourselves the work that is taking place to deal with these issues. "Ultimately it will allow a considered and fact-based judgement to be made about any safety and security risk that might be present in the country," he added.
The ICC delegation will include: Australian Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive James Sutherland; Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) honorary secretary S K Nair; England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tim Lamb; Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) director Ian Frykberg; Koninklijke Nederlanse (Holland) Cricket Board (KCB) team manager Hans Mulder; Namibian Cricket Board (NCB) president Laurie Pieters; Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Chishty Mujahid; Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) chief executive Vince Hogg; and Federation of International Cricket Associations (FICA) joint chief executive Tim May. The delegation will also be accompanied by security and insurance experts.
ICC president Malcolm Gray stressed that the only issues to be considered would be security and safety for the teams and officials in Zimbabwe, according to the press release. "The ICC and its members are only concerned with cricket related issues," Gray said. "The political issues surrounding Zimbabwe are matters for politicians. While some countries have imposed specific sanctions on Zimbabwe, no government in any part of the world has identified sporting sanctions as an appropriate tool to achieve a political outcome. "Zimbabwe has competed in the recent Commonwealth Games, is taking part in the Davis Cup and its players continue to represent their country in golf.
"Each ICC member scheduled to play in Zimbabwe has committed to playing there subject to satisfactory resolution of any safety and security concerns. It is these issues that the delegation will focus on," Gray added. Following the visit, the delegation will prepare a report within 10 days recommending the appropriate course of action of the ICC in relation to the World Cup matches scheduled for Zimbabwe. The ICC board will consider this report and decide on any recommendation, the press release added.