Zimbabwe rebels to go on fund-raising tour

Published: Friday, May 28, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:The 15 rebel Zimbabwean cricketers are planning to undertake a "social tour" of England to raise money for their day to day living as well as to meet the legal costs of their battle against Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU).

"There are quite a few logistics to sort out. But it (the tour) is a possibility because the guys have got some good marketability in England at the moment," batsman Grant Flower was quoted as saying in The Age on Friday.

The players, all white, are on a strike to protest the sacking of Heath Streak as the captain as well as the ZCU's selection policy.The ZCU has terminated the contracts of the striking players and a second string side was fielded in the Test series against Sri Lanka and One-day series against world champions Australia.

Besides the loss of regular earnings from playing international cricket, mounting legal bills, estimated at around 50,000 pounds already, is the immediate cause for the players to think of a tour of England, the report said.

"If there's no resolution to this whole thing then I've got to look at making the best of the years I've got left in cricket and capitalising so I can get myself into a stable financial position to support my family. I've lost a lot of income out of not playing," Streak was quoted as saying.

Two exiled cricketers - Andy Flower and Henry Olonga - alongside former Test players Murray Goodwin and Neil Johnson, who have migrated to Australia and South Africa, could also join the rebel players on the tour, the report said.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis in its executive board meeting in London next month.

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