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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Saturday, 30 March, 2002, 17:33 GMT
Bacher warns Zimbabwe
World Cup director Dr Ali Bacher
Bacher: Determined the tournament will be trouble-free
Zimbabwe could lose the right to stage matches in next year's Cricket World Cup unless the current political unrest in the country is resolved.

The warning has been issued by tournament director Dr Ali Bacher and follows Australia's decision to pull out of their tour to Zimbabwe because of safety concerns.


We have to be pragmatic
Ali Bacher

Zimbabwe is due to host six games during the tournament in Harare and Bulawayo, with Australia, England, Pakistan and India all due to play there.

"We will do everything possible to make sure those matches take place in Zimbabwe.

"However, any decision on the games being played there won't be our own decision," Bacher explained.

"We will have to consult the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, the International Cricket Council and, in particular, the South African government."

Alternative venues

Tickets for the tournament are due to go on sale in July, so organisers will need to be satisfied that appropriate security measures for the teams are in place by then.

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe was recently re-elected as Zimbabwe's president

If it is deemed too risky to play the games in Zimbabwe, they will be rescheduled for venues in South Africa.

"We must have a back-up plan and the Global Cricket Committee, the ICC and myself have had preliminary discussions about moving the matches in question to South Africa," Bacher added.

Losing the games would be a major financial blow to Zimbabwe, but even if they are given the go ahead, visiting teams could still refuse to travel there.

Australia and West Indies chose to forfeit games during the 1996 competition rather than travel to Sri Lanka.

See also:

27 Mar 02 |  Cricket
Aussies abandon Zimbabwe tour
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