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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 17:46 GMT

England match 'must move'
Richard Bevan
Bevan says the ICC must act
England players' chief Richard Bevan believes their World Cup match in Zimbabwe must be moved after the US State Department urged Americans to leave the country.

The latest twist in the cricket row came after England players said on Monday they wanted the 13 February fixture switched to South Africa on safety grounds.

The US travel warning said: "Zimbabwe is in the midst of political, economic and humanitarian crises with serious implications for the security situation in the country.

"All US citizens in Zimbabwe are urged to take those measures they deem appropriate to ensure their well being, including consideration of departure."

Bevan believes the International Cricket Council (ICC) now has little option but to move the controversial game.

He is set to continue talks through Wednesday with both the England and Wales Cricket Board and the ICC.

Tele-conference

And he will be taking part in an ICC tele-conference on Thursday.

Bevan told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "It is another example of the escalation of the troubles over recent weeks.

"And it questions quotes from the reports that Zimbabwe has the expertise, infrastructure and capability to deliver a safe and secure event.

The danger to Zimbabwe people... and the people at the game could be major
Richard Bevan

"Well, I can't see that being the case.

"I will be speaking with [ICC chief executive] Malcolm Speed on a number of points, which hopefully will get to the right decision tomorrow from our point of view."

He added New Zealand's threats to pull out of their match in Kenya and Australia's comments about Zimbabwe were forcing the ICC into a quick decision.

Malcolm Gray, ICC chairman, also speaking on the Today programme, said the situation would continue to be monitored on an hourly basis.

He added: "We understand the concerns that have been expressed by the players, but at the moment those games scheduled for Zimbabwe and Kenya are going ahead."

Bevan said any countries still wishing to play their fixtures in Zimbabwe and Kenya should be allowed to do so.

But England, New Zealand and Australia should be allowed to switch their fixtures to South Africa, he argued.

India's match against Zimbabwe is in Harare on February 19, and their captain Sourav Ganguly said his team had no reservations.

"We toured Zimbabwe two years ago and it was okay for us then.

"We were looked after very well then, so we have no reservations about going there now."



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WATCH AND LISTEN
PCA managing director Richard Bevan
"The ICC really need to make a quick decision"


ICC president Malcolm Gray
"We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis"



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