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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 14:36 GMT
England want Zimbabwe series off
Brendan Taylor and Andrew Flintoff
Zimbabwe will visit England for the 2009 World Twenty20
England cricket bosses will have to pay Zimbabwe 225,000 to postpone the team's tour in 2009.

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke held talks with counterpart Peter Chingoka last week.

The ECB wants to delay the trip until Zimbabwe has regained Test status, viewing the three one-day matches scheduled as unviable on their own.

However, Zimbabwe will still visit England in 2009 to play in the second ICC World Twenty20 tournament.

"These are the normal and regular conversations which take place between the boards in international cricket, " Clarke said in a statement.

"The summer of 2009 is exciting for the ECB but it also has some logistical issues which need to be resolved."


England's next tour to Zimbabwe, scheduled for 2012, also came under discussion during the meeting between Clarke and Chingoka.

Games between England and Zimbabwe have provoked widespread protest over the last five years because of the policies of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The British government stopped short of banning the England team from touring Zimbabwe, although authorities in Australia and New Zealand have done so with their sides.

In ordering his national side not to visit Zimbabwe in May, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the tour would be an "enormous propaganda boost" to Mugabe, a "grubby dictator".

The ECB paid around 135,000 in March 2005 to resolve a year-long row over an England Test tour to the country, although they played a one-day series there in October 2004.

Zimbabwe's cricket board decided to give up Test status in January 2006 after a group of senior players quit in protest at the way the game was run, leaving their side too inexperienced to be competitive against leading teams.

The ICC's Cricket Committee, meanwhile, said last June that to allow Zimbabwe to resume five-day matches risked "undermining the integrity of Test cricket" but that status could be returned in future.

The ECB faces a headache in 2009 as it needs to fit seven Test matches and 10 one-day internationals into the schedule, around the World Twenty20.

Five of those Tests and seven of the one-day matches are against Australia in the second half of the season

If Zimbabwe were to visit to play only the three one-day games, a third side would have to be called in for the early-season Tests.

England cancel Tests in Zimbabwe
24 Mar 05 |  England
Zimbabwe tour timeline
23 Nov 04 |  Cricket


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