Bangalore: All journalists accredited to cover International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup matches in Bulawayo will be free to enter Zimbabwe the International Cricket Council confirmed on Thursday, according to an official press release. The announcement came after the ICC received written assurances from Zimbabwean government officials that all accredited journalists will be able to enter the country.
The ICC sought the assurances following the case of British journalist Simon Briggs, who was refused entry to the country earlier this week. Following that decision the ICC sought urgent meetings with the relevant Zimbabwe authorities to establish that original undertakings given to the ICC that all accredited journalists would be free to enter the country remained in place.
With the assistance of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, ICC general manager - corporate affairs, Brendan McClements, on Thursday met with the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture A S Chigwedere, and the secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture Dr T K Tsodzo to clarify the situation. "Chigwedere had previously arranged for all accredited journalists to be able to enter Zimbabwe and for the usual $ 600 fee to be waived for these reporters," McClements said.
"Up until Briggs sought to enter Zimbabwe this system had worked well and it was important to make sure there had been no change in the approach of the Zimbabwe government," he said. "After the meeting today the ICC has received further written assurances that all ICC CWC 2003 accredited journalists will be able to enter Zimbabwe freely to cover the cricket," he stated.
"The secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, Dr Tsodzo, has now written to the Ministry of Information and Publicity to ensure that it is clear that these journalists will be able to enter the country. "The actions today of the Zimbabwean authorities have quickly dealt with the confusion that arose following Briggs' case. While it is too late to reverse that decision the action today should ensure that such a situation does not arise again," he added. McClements has advised Briggs of the assurances provided by the Zimbabwe government, the official press release added.