London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has formed a standing committee to monitor whether or not games at the forthcoming World Cup can be played in Zimbabwe. The African nation is due to host six out of the 54 World Cup matches when the tournament gets underway next month but food riots in the capital Harare and Bulawayo has raised safety concerns.
ICC president Malcolm Gray told the BBC, "The committee will keep a watching brief over security and will act if need be." The four-man ICC committee consists of Gray, ICC president-elect Ehsan Mani, chief executive Malcolm Speed and South African cricket board president Percy Sonn.
The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) 15-member management board is due to meet on Tuesday at Lord's and expected to give the go-ahead to England's participation in Zimbabwe. The bulk of the matches in the February 8 - March 23 tournament are being played in South Africa and contingency plans are in place for fixtures to be moved there if Zimbabwe is deemed unsafe.
Meanwhile, an ICC inspection team is due to arrive in Kenya, where two matches are scheduled, on Monday to assess its security arrangements after doubts about its suitability as a World Cup venue were raised in the wake of terror attacks in Mombassa in November.