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Last Updated:  Sunday, 16 March, 2003, 07:31 GMT
England in contract re-think
England's Owais Shah could be affected
England's Owais Shah could be affected by the move
The England and Wales Cricket Board is to cut the number of summer contracts it awards, following England's financially disastrous showing at the World Cup.

Nasser Hussain's side not only refused to participate in their match against Zimbabwe in Harare, but their early departure from the tournament also cost valuable prize money.

To help compensate for the losses, this year's budget for summer contracts is likely to be slashed.

England had intended to award contracts to players such as Jimmy Anderson, Steve Harmison and Robert Key, who all emerged with credit from winter tours.

But ECB chairman David Morgan admitted: "The First Class Forum approved a package for up to 20 players, but in the present climate I'd be surprised if they went anywhere near that.

"There is the potential for a loss from the Harare match. No doubt the attitude of the Global Cricket Corporation to our 'no play' will be that they'll want to withhold money.

"And the ICC will want the ECB to bear the brunt of that," he told the Sunday Times.

England's decision to forfeit their match in Zimbabwe could result in a 1m-plus compensation claim from the International Cricket Council.

But Morgan said he did not expect Zimbabwe to pull out of their tour of England this summer.


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