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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Probe clears Zimbabwe over racism
Heath Streak
Players boycotted after Streak's sacking
The Zimbabwe Cricket Union has been cleared of racism by an International Cricket Council investigation.

The probe was launched after 15 white players were dismissed for backing Heath Streak, who was controversially stripped of the captaincy and sacked.

But ICC president Ehsan Mani said on Sunday a two-member panel had "found absolutely no evidence of racism."

Zimbabwe will also have their Test status restored in 2005 after it was suspended for fielding weakened teams.

The ICC began its inquiry after Streak and the rebel players had questioned the ZCU's selection policy.

We had every reason to believe that we would be able to ascertain the truth. We believe that we have been able to do so
Racism hearing findings
But in a 73-page report by South African judge Steven Majiedt and India's solicitor general Goolam Vahanvati, the allegations were rejected.

The hearing, held in Harare, had been halted after a row over which members of the ZCU should be allowed into the room when players were giving their evidence.

It was decided by the panel to end the hearing and rely on written submissions only.

If it had been found guilty, the ZCU could have faced a range of penalties, including possible expulsion from international cricket.

We had refuted the allegations and had always welcomed the rebel players to come back and we maintain that stance
ZCU's Peter Chingoka
ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka was happy with the findings.

He said: "I am delighted at the outcome of the report and over being cleared of baseless allegations.

"We had refuted the allegations and had always welcomed the rebel players to come back and we maintain that stance."

Zimbabwe's Test status will resume after the tour of Bangladesh, although the decision to allow the country to play top-flight cricket again was not directly linked to the outcome of the hearing.

"Zimbabwe's Test status was never under threat," said Mani.

And ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed added: "Zimbabwe was stopped from playing Test cricket because they lost many of their leading established players.

"They are grooming a new team which requires time and exposure to adjust to this level.

"The decision to stop them from playing Test cricket was taken in agreement with the ZCU, which also understood the situation arising out of the walkout by several leading players."

The findings also mean England's tour of Zimbabwe in November will go ahead, unless safety and security cannot be guaranteed.

A delegation from the England and Wales Cricket Board arrived in Zimbabwe on Sunday to check out the facilities.

Security group heads to Zimbabwe
17 Oct 04 |  Other International
Zimbabwe rebels appeal to ICC
11 Oct 04 |  Cricket
Zim board ready for report
10 Oct 04 |  Cricket

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