Johannesburg: England have been given until 16:00 hours GMT on Thursday to lodge a written appeal with the World Cup event technical committee following its decision to pull out of its tournament opener against Zimbabwe on Thursday in Harare. However, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spokesman Andrew Walpole said, "I don't expect the committee to convene immediately at that time. It may be some days before it has a meeting on this issue."
England finally confirmed it was boycotting the fixture on Tuesday citing security fears caused by death threats. The committee, chaired by International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed, last week rejected England's plea to move the match to South Africa. But it is set to reconsider that request in the light of what English cricket chiefs say is "new" information. If it decides not to reschedule the match it will also have to work out how the points should be allocated. As things stand at the moment, England is looking at a maximum of four point penalty for pulling out. But both sides may get two points apiece if the committee accepts England's safety concerns.
Meanwhile, World Cup chief executive Dr Ali Bacher said in Durban that England had requested a meeting to disclose new information about its decision not to fulfil the fixture in Zimbabwe. "The CWC technical committee has received a request from the England and Wales Cricket Board for a meeting to put across new information about the situation in Zimbabwe. "We don't know what the new information is but we'll certainly listen to them and then decide whether or not England's match should be re-scheduled to South Africa," he said.
"At this stage England will lose its four points and it will be requested to pay compensation for its failure to fulfil its match against Zimbabwe in Harare tomorrow." Bacher said the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, Malcolm Speed, was in constant contact with England officials. England's decision has been severely criticised by the president of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, Percy Sonn. Sonn said that South Africa would reconsider its relations with England and there was possibility that South Africa would not travel to England in the middle of the year.