Aussies will re-assess Zimbabwe issue, says Gilchrist

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2003, 1:19 [IST]
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Melbourne: Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist said on Tuesday the Australian team would re- assess its attitude to playing its World Cup match in Zimbabwe in light of an appeal by England players to have its match moved to South Africa.

After receiving the Australian International One-day player-of-the-year award, Gilchrist said there were definitely concerns over playing in Zimbabwe next month. "We haven't really learnt too much more about the scenario since hearing what the English team have come out and said... we'll assess that over the next few days," he said.

"It's really hard to comment because we're trying to learn and be informed about what the scenario is. "We'll learn a bit more about it but I think it's fair to say that there's enough interest in it and enough concern from the player group to warrant assessing it again." But Gilchrist denied that the team did not want to travel to Zimbabwe. "That doesn't mean the players are standing up and saying 'we're not going' and it doesn't mean that everyone is totally happy with it," he said.

"We'll assess it over the next few days and learn a bit more about it. I don't know of anyone who's stood up and said 'I'm definitely not going' but, as I say, there's definitely concerns there, and enough concerns to warrant investigating the scenario a little bit further." Gilchrist's comments came after England's Professional Cricketers' Association made an urgent request on behalf of the England players in London for their match against Zimbabwe on February 13 to be shifted from Harare to South Africa.

It followed warnings received from Zimbabwean activists to the England team in Australia and reports that opposition groups would use the England match to demonstrate against President Robert Mugabe's regime.

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