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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 15:26 GMT
Zimbabwe games rest on safety
Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh and all-rounder Heath Streak
Zimbabwe players insist the country is safe
Safety, rather than politics, will decide whether World Cup fixtures can be played in Zimbabwe next year.

A delegation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) will make a trip to the country later this month to help decide whether six matches scheduled for Harare and Bulawayo can go ahead.

The delegation, headed by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, will spend three days in the country from 26 November, and will prepare a report within 10 days.


The political issues surrounding Zimbabwe are matters for politicians
ICC president
Malcolm Gray
ICC president Malcolm Gray said that each of the six countries scheduled to play in Zimbabwe, including Australia and England, had committed to do so.

"The ICC and its members are only concerned with cricket-related issues," said Gray in a statement.

"While some countries have imposed specific sanctions on Zimbabwe, no government in any part of the world has identified sporting sanctions as an appropriate tool to achieve a political outcome."

The Australian team refused to tour Zimbabwe in March, citing fears of possible election violence, after their government advised its citizens not to travel.

  World Cup matches in Zimbabwe
Feb 10, v Namibia, Harare
Feb 13, v England, Harare
Feb 19, v India, Harare
Feb 24, v Australia, Bulawayo
Feb 28, v Netherlands, Bulawayo
Mar 4, v Pakistan, Bulawayo
And the British government has been highly critical of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe's land redistribution policies.

India, Namibia, the Netherlands and Pakistan, who are currently on tour in the country, are the other teams expected to make the trip.

Should security concerns prove founded, the matches could be moved to South Africa where the bulk of the tournament is due to be staged.

The delegation will include James Sutherland and Tim Lamb, chief executives of the Australian and English cricket board respectively, and player representative Tim May.

Australia and West Indies forfeited a match each against Sri Lanka during the 1996 World Cup over security concerns in Colombo.


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12 Sep 02 | Cricket
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