ECB to decide on Zimbabwe tour in February

Published: Wednesday, December 24, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England's cricketers should find out whether their tour of Zimbabwe scheduled for late next year will go ahead when the England Cricket Board (ECB) meet in February.

England refused to play a World Cup match in Harare earlier this year amid intense pressure over human rights issues in Robert Mugabe's strife-torn state.

And the ECB, who took the decision not to play that World Cup match, are adamant that again a final ruling on the October Tour's fate rests with them.

ECB chief executive Tim Lamb told BBC Radio on Tuesday, "As things stand we are scheduled to go to Zimbabwe in October 2004.

"We will make a decision at the right time, for the right reasons and with the right people making that decision."

He added, "We are well aware of the pressure that we will come under. It's going to be a question of balancing the political and moral argument with our obligations to the international fraternity."

Reflecting back on the World Cup Lamb said, "It was the ECB that decided in the end not to go to Harare to play that World Cup match.

"We didn't receive the necessary assurances over safety and security."

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