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Zimb must raise the bar for Tests, says ICC Committee

Published: Friday, June 1, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:Zimbabwe should not return to the Test arena until it shows it can perform at the required standard, an International Cricket Council committee said on Thursday.

The Zimbabwe government withdrew the African country from Test cricket last year although they still take part in one-day internationals and played in this year's World Cup in the Caribbean.

"The committee did not support the return of Zimbabwe to Test cricket until such time as the team demonstrates its ability to perform at a standard that does not risk undermining the integrity of Test cricket," an ICC statement said.

In order to be able to judge when Zimbabwe's performance merits a return to Test cricket, the committee felt the team first needed to continue in its current practice of playing a number of representative four-day games. The committee encouraged the scheduling of such matches against ICC Full Member A teams and Associates with, for example, the inclusion of Zimbabwe in the next ICC Intercontinental Cup."

The ICC chief executives' committee will consider the recommendations of the committee, chaired by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and containing several other distinguished former players.

This month the Australian government ordered the world champions to cancel a planned tour of Zimbabwe in protest against the policies of President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe first voluntarily opted out themselves in 2004. They returned to Tests in January 2005 but of eight matches between then and their second withdrawal in January 2006 they lost all but one by massive margins, with the one drawn match being severely disrupted by rain. They have also won only one of their last 19 ODIs.

Reuters

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