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Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 08:34 GMT
Tour ends in washout


Hick's revival has been one of the tour's high points


England's final match of their winter tour has been abandoned due to heavy rain in Harare.

England had been due to play Zimbabwe in their fourth and final one-day game but umpires Russell Tiffin and Kevin Barber called it off after inspecting the outfield, which has been flooded by a night of heavy rain.

England had already clinched the series after taking a 3-0 lead on Sunday.

It is an disappointing end for the tour, much of which has been hit by the African rains.

But many players - some of whom have been overseas for the entire four months - will be relishing the prospect of a slightly earlier return to England.

Yorkshire all-rounder Gavin Hamilton and Warwickshire slow left-armer Ashley Giles may be a little dispirited - they end the tour having failed to figure in a single one-day game.

The two teams meet again in the summer.

Zimbabwe travel to England to play in two Tests before taking part in a tri-nations one-day series against Hussain's men and the West Indies.

Following Wednesday's washout, the one-day score between the two countries rests at six-all.

Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board says it will name the 16 players to be centrally-contracted to England next season a week on Wednesday.

"I'm very conscious of making sure that our players within the domestic game don't feel their claims have been completely written off because they are not among the contracted players," said David Graveney, chairman of the England selectors.

"We are not like the Australians or South Africans who have 25 and 18 players in their squads, but you can never ignore a player who is making hundreds of runs or masses of wickets and are knocking on the door."

Members of the squad will still be free to play for the counties but England have first claim on their services.

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See also:
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I'm going nowhere, says ECB boss
21 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Fletcher's whitewash dilemma
22 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
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20 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Hick seals series success
19 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Read the right way to tour
18 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Wobbly England scrape home
16 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Hick's victory six
18 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
All White now
Links to other England on Tour stories are at the foot of the page.