Zimbabwe suspension evokes mixed reactions

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Zimbabwe's decision to suspend its Test status for the rest of the year drew mixed reaction from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh cricketing circles. Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lanka captain, said: "I am surprised to hear that and I don't know what the people concerned are expecting by doing so.

"Zimbabwe have always had good players like David Houghton, Andy Flower and Heath Streak to name a few and I am sure if the younger players had been given their opportunities they would have come through.

"There are a few good young players there and all what it takes is exposure to make them better ones."

It was the second time in two years that Zimbabwe Cricket, split by ongoing claims of racism, corruption and player strikes, had been suspended from Tests.

A similar decision was taken in 2004 as results and performances on the field became increasingly humiliating.

Thilanga Sumathipala, the former President of Sri Lanka Cricket and Asian Cricket Council, said: "It's a sad day for cricket. Zimbabwe is a country with great cricket tradition.

"They co-hosted the World Cup in 2003 along with South Africa and Kenya and have been a great friend for Sri Lanka. I am sad that politics is taking priority with both the administration and the government and as a result cricket suffers."

And President of Bangladesh Cricket Board Ali Asgar Lobby said the suspension of Zimbabwe's Test status was "definitely an internal matter for Zimbabwe".

"Their cricket authorities have suspended themselves from Test cricket. It is not the ICC which imposed the ban," he said.

"It's very much an internal affair of Zimbabwe. I don't think it will have any impact on Test cricket in Bangladesh."

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