Zimbabwe retains ICC membership, says offici

Published: Friday, July 4, 2008, 13:27 [IST]
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Dubai: Strife-torn Zimbabwe will remain a full member of the International Cricket Council, officials said on Friday, after the deeply-divided world body worked out a last-minute compromise.

"The full membership of Zimbabwe is currently not in doubt," incoming ICC president David Morgan of England told reporters at the conclusion of the council's executive board meeting.

"There was not even a discussion on the issue of Zimbabwe's membership," he said.

The ICC Executive Board, which sat for an unscheduled third day, agreed to keep Zimbabwe in its fold after the African nation acceded to India's request to pull out of 2009 World Twenty20 championships in England.

The British government had made it clear it would not issue visas to Zimbabwean cricketers, which could have forced the ICC to move the lucrative tournament out of England.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe have agreed to skip next year's World Twenty20 in England to end a stalemate with the ICC, Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka told cricinfo in Harare on Friday.

"We've decided to pull out in the larger interests of the game," Chingoka said in Dubai, where the ICC is meeting over calls to sanction the board of the troubled African country.

"We have been informed that the British government may not grant visas to our players and that situation may prevail during the Twenty20 World Cup," Chingoka said. "We don't want to be gatecrashers."

Outgoing ICC President Ray Mali has recommended that a sub-committee be set up, chaired by Dr Julian Hunte (WICB) and including another ICC Board member Arjuna Ranatunga (SLC) and an official from the ICC (to be confirmed).

The role of this sub-committee will be to advise the ICC Board on all matters relating to Zimbabwe cricket including its return to full participation in the international game. The specific terms of reference for the sub-committee will be finalised in due course.


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