ICC meeting to discuss ban on Zimbabwe cricket

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:The International Cricket Council (ICC) would consider a request from the British government to ban Zimbabwe as punishment for increasing human rights abuses in the country.

"For the past three years at least, weve been asked that players be allowed not to comply with their agreements with Zimbabwe, or that cricket not be played in Zimbabwe," Speed said at a press conference Wednesday in the ICCs new headquarters here in Dubai.

"ICC position has been consistent, we say to governments that we dont take decisions based on political judgments, we expect governments to do that."

The ICC board will discuss the issue during a four-day meeting and draft a response to the authors, Britains Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Sports Minister Tessa Jowell.

In July, the ICC board received a request from the New Zealand government that the ICC allow its national cricket team to be excused from playing in Zimbabwe in August and September. Speed said the 10 ICC members, including Zimbabwe, were comfortable with play proceeding in the absence of an outright government ban.

Also to be discussed is a proposal to extend the schedule from five years to six as Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and New Zealand had been shortchanged on matches over the past decade.

"We want each country to have a full allocation for cricket, Speed said. The board will also examine the growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket in England and South Africa and decide whether it should be part of the international season.

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