London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to announce its decision on whether to go ahead with staging World Cup matches in Zimbabwe by "the middle of this month", a spokesman for the sport's global governing body said on Monday.
Last month an ICC delegation led by chief executive Malcolm Speed and containing representatives from the six countries - England, Australia, India, Pakistan, Holland and Namibia - due to play World Cup matches against joint-hosts Zimbabwe visited the country to assess its security arrangements. Their report is due to be presented to the 15 members of the ICC executive board by Friday, the spokesman said. "There was always a 10-day timeframe in mind from the third day of the inspection on November 29," the spokesman explained.
"We would hope to announce a decision by the middle of the month." he added. The ICC will have to make its mind up on Zimbabwe soon because, with the World Cup due to start on February 8, there is not much time left to reschedule matches in the event that fixtures are moved elsewhere. South Africa is staging the bulk of World Cup ties with Zimbabwe's games split three apiece between the capital Harare and Bulawayo. Kenya's Nairobi Gymkhana club is also set to host two first round encounters.