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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

England delay Zimbabwe boycott decision

Shyam Bhatia in London | February 10, 2003 00:35 IST

England on Sunday postponed their decision on playing their World Cup match against Zimbabwe in Harare on February 13.

The announcement followed discussions between the players, the Professional Cricketers' Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The ECB had earlier told its board members that the players had received death threats from a group in Zimbabwe.

In a statement, ECB chief executive Tim Lamb said: "Specific information regarding the safety and security of the England players and officials came to light earlier. This information has confirmed the concerns… that we have had regarding safety and security in Zimbabwe.

"An announcement with regard to whether the England team will travel to

Harare to fulfill the fixture has, therefore, been delayed until the new information has been formally committed to the International Cricket Council, and their response has been received. This announcement will be made as soon as practically possible.

"The England team will remain in Cape Town for at least another 24 hours, pending further developments. A practice session will be held for the England team in Cape Town on Monday."

Last week ICC appeals commissioner Justice Albie Sachs ruled that it is safe for England to play in Zimbabwe.

Sachs' ruling that the risk is 'remote rather than substantial' came after he received testimony from the ECB, the ICC technical committee and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

But Sachs went on to warn Zimbabwe that the world would be scrutinising the staging of its six matches.

"Not only must players be protected but also the spectators. On those in authority, who seek to prevent disorder, rests a heavy duty not to use disproportionate measures in dealing with actions that they consider to be disruptive, and to let legitimate protest to proceed unhindered," he said.

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