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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
Zimbabwe 'must improve' for Tests
Zimbabwe are ranked ninth in the world Test standings
Zimbabwe are ranked ninth in the world Test standings
Zimbabwe should not be allowed to return to Test cricket until the team improves its standard of performance.

The ICC's Cricket Committee concluded that to allow Zimbabwe to resume five-day matches risked "undermining the integrity of Test cricket".

And the committee, meeting in Dubai, recommended the scheduling of four-day games against national A teams.

It also suggested Zimbabwe be included in the next ICC Intercontinental Cup, which was recently won by Ireland.

The Cricket Committee is chaired by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and includes a number of other high-profile members, including Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene, former Australia captain Mark Taylor, ex-West Indies paceman Michael Holding and top umpire Simon Taufel.

But its recommendations in relation to Zimbabwe have still to be ratified by the full ICC Board and the Chief Executive's Committee when they met in London next month.

Zimbabwe have not played Tests since September 2005 but are still permitted to take part in one-day internationals, including the recent World Cup in the Caribbean.

However, the MCC's World Cricket Committee recently called for Zimbabwe's one-day status to be suspended as well.

"Once the social unrest has been addressed, the ICC should assist Zimbabwe in rebuilding as a serious cricket nation," said a statement.

"While it is not for the committee to make judgements on the politics of any particular country, we believe that the decline in the standard of cricket in Zimbabwe is directly related to the political situation there.

"An improvement is unlikely while the current regime is in place."

The MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) committee was set up to discuss global cricket issues but has no legislative power in the game.

The MCC, founded in 1787, is responsible for safeguarding cricket's rules and spirit, though the world game is run by the ICC [International Cricket Council].

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