ICC give Zimbabwe rebels Wednesday deadline

Published: Saturday, July 17, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Zimbabwe's rebel cricketers have until Wednesday to agree to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) plan for arbitration in their dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU), Chris Venturas, the players' legal representative said in London.

Following a meeting on Friday in London with ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, Venturas said: "We've been given until Wednesday 5 pm to make a decision about arbitration.

"I'll be recommending we go for it. But I don't know yet what they (the players) are going to say about it."

On Wednesday the ZCU agreed to the ICC's offer to set up a three-man tribunal, sitting in Zimbabwe, in a bid to end the crisis that has plagued Zimbabwe cricket for several months.

One member would be nominated by the ZCU, the other by the players, and the third, the chairman, by these two people.

In April the ZCU sacked then Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak after the fast bowler, now at English County Warwickshire, accused the Union of making some team selections based on race rather than merit.

When his colleagues tried but failed to get Streak reinstated they went on strike in protest.

That led the ZCU to sack a total of 15 senior players, all white, a massive loss for a country with an already small pool of cricketers to choose from.

During ICC's executive board meeting, at its Lord's headquarters, on June 30 the governing body told both the ZCU and the players they had 14 days to agree to their three-man arbitration system.

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