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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 06:32 GMT 07:32 UK
Kiwis ignore tour pull-out motion
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark
New Zealand Cricket has been placed in a difficult position by the International Cricket Council
Prime Minister Helen Clark
New Zealand politicians have failed to stop the national cricket team's tour of Zimbabwe going ahead as scheduled.

Parliament passed a resolution on Tuesday calling on the International Cricket Council (ICC) and New Zealand Cricket to cancel the trip.

There are concerns over human rights abuses in the southern African country.

But NZC chief executive Martin Snedden said the team had a "contractual" obligation and would be liable for a $2m fine should they withdraw.

The Black Caps have already flown to Namibia for the first leg of their tour despite opposition from the government, which until now has stopped short of introducing new laws to prevent it.

Opinion polls have shown the majority of the New Zealand public to be against the tour.

And about 1,000 people, led by former Zimbabwe fast bowler Henry Olonga, marched through Auckland earlier this month in protest.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark proposed the resolution on Tuesday asking the ICC and NZC to cancel the tour and it was passed by a 110-10 majority.

But she acknowledged: "The International Cricket Council made it clear that the imposition of penalties on New Zealand Cricket could only be avoided if the government passes legislation here making the tour to Zimbabwe illegal.

"The government is not prepared to support such legislation, Freedom of passage to and from this country is a basic right enjoyed by New Zealanders."

New Zealand Cricket chief Martin Snedden
The consequences of not touring are open ended and would be disastrous
NZC chief executive Martin Snedden

The New Zealand government's stance echoes that of their British counterparts when they came under pressure to stop England touring Zimbabwe last year.

In response, Snedden said New Zealand Cricket understood the views of opponents of the tour.

He added: "New Zealand Cricket, however, has a contractual obligation to tour Zimbabwe under the Future Tours programme. The parliamentary motion does not change this obligation.

"The consequences of not touring are open ended and would be disastrous to all levels of the game of cricket in New Zealand."

The Black Caps will play several warm-up matches in Namibia before arriving in Zimbabwe on 4 August for two Tests and a triangular one-day series, also involving India.

NZ government resists ban calls
18 Jul 05 |  Cricket
Campaigner Olonga arrives in NZ
12 Jul 05 |  Cricket
New Zealand renews Zimbabwe call
06 Jul 05 |  Cricket
Kiwis press on with Zimbabwe tour
01 Jul 05 |  New Zealand


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