Vaughan has no hang-ups about Zim if backed by ECB

Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2003, 22:41 [IST]
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London: Michael Vaughan, who scored the most Test runs in 2002, said he has no problem playing in Zimbabwe in February if the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) insists the World Cup match must take place there. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said it will not rearrange the game elsewhere with South Africa, the obvious place, as the vast majority of fixtures for the February 8 to March 23 tournament go ahead in that country.

Vaughan is looking to his employers to make the decision and believes his teammates feel the same way about the February 13 match. "We will be happy to do whatever the ECB decides," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 Live. "As a player who's been in Australia for two and a half months we have not had much chance to read what's been said about the game," added Vaughan. "If the ECB tells us to go we will go. It is up to the ICC, the ECB and the government to tell us what to do."

Opener Vaughan finished 2002 with 1,481 runs, ranked second only to Viv Richards for the most Test runs in a calendar year. West Indian batting great Richards blazed 1,710 runs in 1976. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has accused the British government of hypocrisy over its stance. Streak is angered Tony Blair's administration is urging England's players to boycott the game at the same time as maintaining trade links with Zimbabwe. Streak said, "Politicians are not speaking out about the hundreds of British companies trading in Zimbabwe. This is double-standards.

They should be consistent. If they target cricket alone it's hypocritical. "It is only because of the high profile of the World Cup that we are being picked upon in this way," Streak told the 'Daily Mirror'. Several ministers have urged England's players not to take part in the game but the government has insisted the final decision is up to the ECB, which it has agreed to meet next week to discuss the situation.

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