South Africa slams England on request for venue switch

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: South Africa on Wednesday slammed England for requesting the International Cricket Council (ICC) to shift the venue of its World Cup match against Zimbabwe shifted out of Harare. A spokesperson for the Sports Ministry said they could not understand why the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was making the call at such a late hour. "We are totally opposed to the game being switched to South Africa," he said.

The spokesperson said the South African Government had been assured that the safety and security of all participants in Zimbabwe would not be compromised. England did not place a formal request for changing the venue on Friday when ICC Executive Board met via teleconference to discuss the security and other aspects.

However, the English cricket chiefs on Tuesday tabled a formal request for their February 13 match to be switched to South Africa. ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said that the request would be discussed by the technical committee in Cape Town on Thursday. England is the only country to have made such a request.

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