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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 March, 2003, 15:05 GMT
Morgan bids to save tour
ECB chairman David Morgan
The ECB could lose 10m if Zimbabwe cancel their tour
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan will travel to Harare next week in an effort to save Zimbabwe's proposed tour of England.

England boycotted their World Cup fixture against Zimbabwe in Harare on 14 February because of security concerns.

There are fears Zimbabwe will retaliate by pulling out of their two-Test tour of England this summer.

The ECB has estimated that this could cost them as much as 10m.

Morgan will speak at a board meeting of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) and try to convince its members to back the tour.

England's boycott of the World Cup match against Zimbabwe could lead to the ECB losing approximately 1m in witheld World Cup payments from the International Cricket Council.

The ICC itself could be sued for breach of contract by tournament sponsors and broadcasters following the lost fixture.

Morgan said the financial penalties, if any, the ECB would face had still to decided.

"These are matters for discussion, negotiation and arbitration," he insisted.

Earlier this month ECB chief executive Tim Lamb made it clear English cricket would resist any attempt to collect payment for damages.

"We don't feel the need to make any apologies for not going to Zimbabwe," Lamb said.

"We did not receive unequivocal assurances regarding safety from the relevant security services," he said.

"We had a very strong legal case and were very disappointed the ICC refused to move the game to South Africa, and if it comes to arbitration we will defend our position.

"We still don't know the financial consequences, I said all along it would be quite severe and that remains the case, but if they try to sue us we will defend our case strongly."

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