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Page last updated at 22:24 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 23:24 UK

Strauss hints at Zimbabwe boycott

Andrew Strauss
Strauss feels a boycott is a real possibility

Andrew Strauss says England's cricketers will consider boycotting matches against Zimbabwe next summer if President Robert Mugabe stays in power.

The batsman feels both the England and Wales Cricket Board and the government have missed previous chances to send Mugabe a message by refusing to play.

He said: "In the past there've been chances to show the strength of feeling here and the government chose not to.

"If it comes down to players to do that we'll definitely have to look at it."

England are set to play three home one-day internationals against Zimbabwe early next summer.

And the ECB will also host the World Twenty20, an International Cricket Council tournament Zimbabwe are expected to take part in.

The government has hinted it would refuse visas for Zimbabwe players should Mugabe remain in power.

Strauss believes that the players were "left in the lurch" by both the ECB and the government over the two previous tours to Zimbabwe.


He said: "There's a great sense among the general population that our last tour to Zimbabwe shouldn't have gone ahead.

"It has come down to a certain extent to personal preference and there have been some tough decisions made in previous tours.

"When we come round to the issue again we all hope that the political situation in Zimbabwe is very different.

"But if it isn't there are going to be more very difficult decisions to be made."

England cricketers have made stands in the past.

Captained by Nasser Hussain, they refused to play Zimbabwe in Harare during the 2003 World Cup and forfeited the match points.

And in 2004, England were forced to pay 135,000 in compensation having cancelled a Test tour to the country.

Strauss was speaking as a member of a panel following Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 'Spirit of Cricket' lecture at Lord's.

see also
Call for ban on Zimbabwe cricket
22 Aug 05 |  UK Politics
Hain slams Zimbabwe cricket tour
28 Nov 04 |  UK Politics
England cleared to tour Zimbabwe
27 Oct 04 |  England
Q&A: England's Zimbabwe tour
24 Jan 04 |  Cricket
Should England be hosting Zimbabwe?
02 May 03 |  Have Your Say

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