Windies official, Hinds deny commenting on Zim issue

Published: Sunday, January 12, 2003, 18:01 [IST]
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St. John's (Antigua): West Indies official Roger Brathwaite and opening batsman Wavell Hinds on Saturday denied making statements on the issue of England playing in Zimbabwe during next month's World Cup. Acting West Indies Cricket Board chief executive officer Brathwaite claims he was not the source of a direct quote featured on the BBC website on January 9, and said he is upset the error had been made by such a reputable organisation. "I have not made or given a statement to the BBC, any journalist nor indeed anyone else on this matter," Brathwaite stated emphatically. The BBC report quoted Brathwaite, Hinds and West Indies vice-captain Ridley Jacobs as supporting England's participation in a World Cup match in Zimbabwe. The issue of whether England should play its World Cup matches in the crisis-hit African country has intensified as next month's tournament approaches. Zimbabwe is due to host six out of the 54 World Cup matches but food riots in the capital Harare and Bulawayo have raised safety concerns. England is central to the issue because Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as a direct enemy also perceives Britain, and his policies have left hundreds of white settlers dispossessed of their homes and farms. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has formed a standing committee to monitor whether or not games can be played in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, a meeting of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) 15-member management board has been called at Lord's on Tuesday and it now appears highly likely they will decide that England will take part in the match in Harare on February 13 against British government advice. When informed of the article, Hinds also denied making the statement in support of England's participation that was quoted on the BBC Sport web-page. Jacobs, the other player quoted in the news item, could not be reached for comment.

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