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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

England match will not be shifted: ICC

February 07, 2003 03:01 IST

England's hopes of getting their World Cup match shifted away from strife-torn Zimbabwe were hanging by a thread after tournament organisers on Thursday rejected their request.

The World Cup technical committee, meeting in Cape Town just two days before the start of the event, refused to move the February 13 game from Harare despite England's concerns over political and social unrest in the country.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who made a submission to the committee before the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) put the counter argument, have one last right of appeal, which must be lodged within three hours (before 1030 GMT) after the technical committee gave its decision.

"It was a unanimous decision, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed told a press conference after the five-hour meeting.

"The technical committee does not agree with the ECB. We have tried to make the right decision in the circumstances. We believe we have done the best we can and made a fair and honest decision."

"We are very disappointed. We are in the process of preparing our appeal," ECB chief executive Tim Lamb said.

England's appeal, put together within half an hour of the World Cup technical committee's decision, is set to be heard by an ICC-appointed judge in Cape Town on Friday.

"We hope to convince them (the ICC and the judge) of the strength of our argument," Lamb said.

If England lose the appeal they could forfeit the Harare match on February 13, making it that much more difficult for them to reach the second round of the competition.

The controversy-plagued World Cup is due to start with an Olympic-style opening ceremony on Saturday, followed by main hosts South Africa playing the West Indies on Sunday.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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