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Last Updated:  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 09:44 GMT

Zimbabwe count the cost
Zimbabwe cricket chiefs are to fly to Cape Town to tell England of the financial damage they could cause by boycotting their World Cup game.

The decision of the England and Wales Cricket Board not to play their Group A fixture in Harare has infuriated the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka
Chingoka is unimpressed by England's stance
The decision will not affect Zimbabwe's share of the television money from the tournament.

But the ZCU believes they should be compensated over ticket sales, hired staff, hotel and transport costs.

"There will be considerable financial losses following the England withdrawal and the ZCU accounting staff are working out the figures," said ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka.

The ECB has been given a deadline of 1600 GMT on Thursday to make a formal submission of new evidence of threats to the team's safety.

The International Cricket Council could simply award the match to Zimbabwe, order the two teams to share the points, or schedule the game for a later date.

Chingoka and ZCU chief executive Vincent Hogg will be present as the World Cup technical committee rules for the second time on the crisis, having already turned down England's plea to have the game switched.

Zimbabwe have already said they will only play their six group games on home soil.

And they remain confident that the technical committee will rule again in their favour and oppose any switch of venue.

"We are extremely disappointed that the ECB has rejected the ICC directive to play in Harare," said Chingoka.

"We don't know what this new evidence is that England say they have.

"We had a big crowd here for the Namibia game on Monday and there were no problems whatsoever. So it is still our position that Zimbabwe is safe."

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