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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June 2005, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
South Africa oppose Zimbabwe ban
New Zealand wants Zimbabwe expelled from international cricket
New Zealand wants Zimbabwe expelled from international cricket
South Africa will resist any attempt to exile neighbouring Zimbabwe from international cricket.

United Cricket Board chief Gerald Majola said they were committed to developing the game in Africa.

"This includes assisting in the progress of Zimbabwean cricket. We will continue on this path," he added.

The New Zealand government wants the International Cricket Council to ban Zimbabwe because of human rights abuses by the Mugabe regime.

Foreign Affairs minister Phil Goff is seeking support from Britain and Australia but said: "If we have to go it alone, we will."

Australian counterpart Alexander Downer said they would consult with Cricket Australia before making a decision.

But he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "Given the level of human rights abuses that are now taking place, it's not appropriate for cricket matches to be played against Zimbabwe."

The International Cricket Council's annual meeting has been taking place at Lord's over the last few days.

Afterwards, president Ehsan Mani told reporters that nations of Test ranking would still be committed to making tours of Zimbabwe, and hosting series against them.

Human rights abuses are not simply bad and ongoing but actually have reached an extreme point
Phil Goff

He said: "We have a policy in place. Our responsibilty is to the game and the cricket and it is the governments' responsibility to deal with policies.

"We will not take political decisions."

New Zealand are due to tour Zimbabwe in August and could be fined up to 1.1m by the ICC if they pull out for anything other than safety reasons.

Their government would not pay any such fine but has threatened to withhold visas to prevent Zimbabwe making a reciprocal tour later in the year.

The ICC confirmed New Zealand Cricket would not be sanctioned if this was to happen.

Last weekend, Goff said: "The ICC is not considering its responsibilities of a situation where human rights abuses are not simply bad and ongoing but actually have reached an extreme point."

The United Nations estimates 200,000 the number of Zimbabweans who have lost their homes under president Mugabe's new policy of demolishing homes and market stalls.




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