ICC's investigators to probe racism in Zimbabwe

Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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London:World cricket chiefs announced the appointment of a two-man panel to look into allegations of racism in Zimbabwe cricket.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said, in a statement issued from its London headquarters that India's Solicitor General, Goolam Vahanvati and South African High Court Judge Steven Majiedt would carry out an independent review into the allegations.

That will be the prelude to hearings in London (September) and Zimbabwe (October) before the duo report back to the ICC board at its next meeting, in October in Lahore, with both findings and recommendations.

ICC president Ehsan Mani said: "The ICC regards allegations of racism as a serious matter and the process which is now in place to investigate these claims will ensure that the issues and concerns are addressed thoroughly and independently.

"Judge Majiedt and Mr Vahanvati both have considerable experience in overseeing legal hearings and dealing within a fair and considered framework for all parties."

Majiedt and Vahanvati will now take written submissions from interested parties over the next 30 days with the ICC stressing that these must contain the sender's full contact details.

Zimbabwe cricket has been torn apart since the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) in April sacked then 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 playing base.

The ICC, at their last board meeting in June, suspended Zimbabwe's Tests for the rest of the year (against Pakistan and England) following heavy defeats by Sri Lanka and an already abandoned series against Australia.

However, their One-day Internationals remained intact and England are due to play five such games in Zimbabwe in November.

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