ICL: Indian Cricket League

Foreign secretary hints at Zimbabwe ban


The foreign secretary David Miliband has given the strongest hint yet that the British government does not want Zimbabwe’s planned tour of England next year to go ahead.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Miliband said government ministers would be holding talks with the ECB about the proposed tour in mid-2009 which, at the moment, includes two Tests and three one-day internationals although Zimbabwe have still to regain their Test status.

“The situation in Zimbabwe is obviously deeply concerning. I think that bilateral cricket tours at the moment don’t send the right message about our concern,” he said. “This is something that needs to be discussed with the ECB and others.”

Miliband’s comments follow a newspaper report last week which said Prime Minister Gordon Brown was prepared to pull the plug on the tour, although his official spokesman said it is too early to make a decision. Any ban would be the latest snub by Britain to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Brown stayed away from a key summit of European and African leaders last month in protest at what he said was Mugabe’s human rights abuses and responsibility for the country’s economic freefall.

Government backing for a ban would get around the threat of a fine from the ICC although the ECB could still face problems with the World Twenty20 due to be held in England during June 2009.

The ICC are unlikely to allow one of its major events to go ahead in a country where a full member nation like Zimbabwe is barred.

Source:Cricket News

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