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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
England cleared to tour Zimbabwe
England's Paul Collingwood playign against Zimbabwe
England's tour has been in doubt for almost two years
English cricket authorities have given the national team the go-ahead to tour Zimbabwe after a security delegation decided the country is safe.

The decision removes the final hurdle to the November trip taking place.

England and Wales Cricket Board official John Carr and players union boss Richard Bevan visited Zimbabwe.

"We have satisfied ourselves that appropriate safety and security measures will be in place," said ECB chairman David Morgan.

"We are also concerned about the safety and security of travelling supporters and the media.

"And we concluded that Zimbabwe will provide a safe environment provided that they adhere to the government's specific travel advice."

The decision to tour in no way indicates that players are seeking to condone the situation in Zimbabwe
Richard Bevan
Players union chief executive
A tour of five one-day internationals is scheduled to begin on 24 November.

But it has been in doubt for almost two years because of opposition to the regime of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe.

Carr and Bevan met Zimbabwe's minister of home affairs, police chiefs in Bulawayo and Harare and Zimbabwe cricket officials responsible for security.

They also consulted with the British ambassador, opposition MPs and a number of residents and business people.

Bevan, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers Association, said: "The decision to tour in no way indicates that players are seeking to condone the situation in Zimbabwe.

"We look instead to government to provide the lead on any moral or political imperatives.

"They have not intervened on this issue and therefore we are relying on detailed assurances received from all the relevant authorities including the British embassy.

"Should such undertakings be breached there will be an immediate review of the players' position."

Leading players Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff have been rested while Steve Harmison ruled himself out for moral reasons.

England boycotted their 2003 World Cup match in Harare, officially on security grounds.

But some players expressed concern at the prospect of protesters, who might have used the presence of Nasser Hussain's team to highlight their plight, being suppressed by the local authorities.

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