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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 11:20 GMT
World Cup security: The key men
By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport Online

Decisions have to be made on whether Zimbabwe and Kenya can be allowed to fulfil their commitment of staging World Cup cricket matches.

Security in Zimbabwe is deteriorating fast under the Robert Mugabe regime while Kenya has a recent history of terror attacks by groups linked to al-Qaeda.

Here, we look at five key figures who will play political chess against each other over the next few days.

Richard Bevan
Bevan is effectively the mouthpiece of Nasser Hussain's England

Richard Bevan, managing director of the London-based Professional Cricketers' Association

Bevan represents the England players en masse.

On Monday, his statement that the team wanted the 13 February match switched from Harare threw the saga into more turmoil.

Players had begun to voice private reservations at the back end of their recently-completed tour of Australia.

Now, Bevan, presumably drawing on the consensus of the team, has told both the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that Zimbabwe is no go.

David Morgan, chairman of the ECB

When appointed to succeed Lord MacLaurin last year, this softly-spoken Welshman could never imagine his first month in office would cause him so much aggravation.

Unlike the other four men profiled here, Morgan has to face pressure from both sides of the argument.

Technically, the ECB's line as it stands is that matches should only be moved if and when security cannot be guaranteed by the ICC.

Malcolm Speed
Speed may have to climb down for the sake of the tournament

Malcolm Speed, chief executive of the ICC

Speed, a tough-talking Australian, has never really called into doubt any of the six matches due to be hosted by Zimbabwe.

But now he is coming under overwhelming pressure to look very seriously at England's position, despite the positive findings of a second ICC inspection tour of Zimbabwe on 24 January.

Speed now faces further pressure from New Zealand Cricket's chief executive Martin Snedden, who says his players should not be forced to play in Kenya.

Martin Snedden, chief executive of New Zealand Cricket

Unlike the situation in England, where the board and the players are apparently divided on the Zimbabwe question, in New Zealand no punches are being pulled.

Snedden reckons a decision on Kenya is due from the ICC on Thursday.

Many of his players are sensitive after a Karachi bomb blast next to their hotel last year saw them end a tour just before a match against Pakistan.

Peter Chingoka of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
Chingoka needs World Cup cash to fund Zimbabwe's cricketing future

Peter Chingoka, chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union

At the start of the year, Chingoka gave an interview to BBC Radio Five Live in which he stated categorically that both England and Australia were committed to playing in his country.

He says his country has invested around five million pounds improving the stadiums in Harare and Bulawayo for the six matches.

And most of Zimbabwe's plans for developing cricket amongst youngsters depends on World Cup revenue.

Chingoka's counterparts at the Kenyan National Sports Council have similar concerns, though they are only staging two matches.


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