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 Wednesday, 15 January, 2003, 12:44 GMT
Murphy's Zimbabwe decision
BBC cricket reporter Pat Murphy writes for BBC Sport Online

The BBC's cricket reporter tells Radio Five Live why he will not follow England to Zimbabwe.

It's been a very difficult issue that has been bothering me for some time.

Since the elections last year in March it has been well-documented what's been going on in the country.

There is no criticism from me in any shape or form of the England players or my media colleagues

I've been there before - it's a lovely country and I had a very enjoyable tour there in 1996/97.

I spent time on Heath Streak's farm with his father Dennis, who has been in prison for a couple of weekends.

The BBC has been splendidly supportive of me since I asked for guidance before Christmas on the matter.

And it reflects the maturity and the strength of the BBC that it is allowing me the luxury of exercising my own individual conscience.

Personal decision

There is no criticism from me in any shape or form of the England players or my media colleagues - I've got too much respect for them all.

This is just a personal private thing.

ECB chairman Tim Lamb is in an impossible position - he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

I don't blame the ECB in any way - it's a very difficult bar of soap to grasp.

It's the easiest thing in the world for a journalist or broadcaster to be able to have his or her own particular opinions.

But Lamb is responsible for the English game, the welfare of the players and the commercial organisation.

My sympathies in this case are with the employers.

Pat Murphy was a supporter of the Stop the Tour movement in 1970, which forced the cancellation of South Africa's series in England.

The world sporting boycott of the Republic was a catalyst behind the dismantling of the Apartheid regime.

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 ON THIS STORY
 Pat Murphy
"The BBC has been splendidly supportive of me"
Calls grow for World Cup matches in Zimbabwe to be boycotted

Zimbabwe decision

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