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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
No censure for Zim doubters
Darren Gough
Gough has revealed his concerns over the tour
English cricket chief David Morgan has insisted there will be no penalty for any player making a late decision to pull out of the tour of Zimbabwe.

Darren Gough revealed on Tuesday he still has reservations over the trip.

"I have made it clear that any England player not wishing to go to Zimbabwe for reasons of personal conscience will not be penalised," said Morgan.

"If any individual develops moral reservations between now and then it will be looked upon in a similar way."

The controversial tour, which includes five one-day internationals, does not begin until 16 November but the touring party was named this week.

Stephen Harmison had already made himself unavailable for the trip before the selectors decided on a squad.

ECB chairman David Morgan
We have respected the view of Steve Harmison and we respect Andrew Flintoff's view
David Morgan
Andrew Flintoff was rested but revealed he informed the England management last week his conscience would not allow him to make the trip.

However Morgan, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, denied hushing up Flintoff's threat.

"We are not in the business of covering up the consciences of our cricketers - it would be nonsense to think that" he continued.

"We have respected the view of Steve Harmison and we respect Andrew Flintoff's view."

Chairman of selectors David Graveney rang those under consideration at the weekend to inquire if they would be willing to go to the African country.

There's still a long way to go and a lot of things can happen
Darren Gough
That came hours after batsman Andrew Strauss told BBC Sport he was troubled by the prospect.

Fringe players elevated to the full squad due to the absence of Flintoff, Harmison and Marcus Trescothick, who is also resting, were given minimal notice to decide on their availability.

But Morgan, who met many of the players during last month's Test at The Oval, reiterated that no-one would be ostracised for boycotting the matches.

Meanwhile an inquiry into allegations of racism against the Zimbabwe Cricket Union began in Harare on Wednesday.

The most severe punishment available would see Zimbabwe expelled from international cricket and the tour cancelled.




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