Bangalore: The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Saturday that the Zimbabwean government will allow all ICC accredited cricket journalists to cover cricket in Zimbabwe for games scheduled in the country as part of the World Cup 2003. The written assurance was provided to ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed during the ICC's safety and security delegation trip to Zimbabwe to assess safety issues in the country ahead of the six World Cup games to be played in Zimbabwe during February next year.
Speed said that he was pleased with this outcome and with the speed with which the Zimbabwean government had resolved the issue. "Widespread coverage of the ICC World Cup is a vital element of the tournament," Mr Speed said. "Following the recent rejection of the application of two English cricket journalists to travel to Zimbabwe, the ICC and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tim Lamb raised this issue during the safety delegations meeting with the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture Chigawdere. "The Minister has acted quickly to assure us that all ICC accredited cricket journalists will be able to cover the matches in Zimbabwe and I appreciate his prompt action in addressing this issue," he said.
Speed also outlined the work that the safety delegation has undertaken during its visit and the steps it would now follow in dealing with the issue. "The visit to Zimbabwe has been very beneficial," Speed said. "Over the course of the last three days we have been able to meet with a number of key diplomatic, government, Zimbabwe Cricket Union, police and emergency services as well as local government officials to be able to get all the information we need to make a considered and informed decision," he stated.
"Over the course of the next 10 days, the delegation will finalise its report and prepare its recommendations. "This report will then be provided to the ICC executive board for its decision and I would expect to be able to make this decision public by mid-December," he added.