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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

England's Harare fixture cancelled

February 12, 2003 01:07 IST

Thursday's World Cup match between England and Zimbabwe in Harare will not go ahead after the International Cricket Council allowed England a second appeal to have the fixture moved to South Africa.

At a press conference on Tuesday, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said the match had been called off to allow more time to resolve the deadlock, caused by the England squad's concerns over security as well as social and political unrest in Zimbabwe.

England tried to get the match switched to South Africa last week but the World Cup organisers rejected their concerns, ruling Harare was a safe venue. That decision was supposedly binding.

Speed said the matter would now go back to the tournament's technical committee after the England and Wales Cricket Board argued they had new information -- concerning death threats made against their players -- which had not been properly dealt with at the first appeal.

Speed added: "If they [the technical committee] agree with the ECB's decision [not to go to Zimbabwe on security grounds] and they cannot reschedule the match, the points will be shared.

"If they find the concerns are not justified, then the points will be awarded to Zimbabwe."

A date for England's new hearing has yet to be set.

Six of the World Cup's 54 matches are due to take place in Zimbabwe. A debate over whether they should go ahead has been raging for months among politicians, administrators and players.

Australia remain committed to playing in Bulawayo later in the tournament but are monitoring the security situation there.

New Zealand, meanwhile, have refused to play their fixture against Kenya in Nairobi, also because of security worries.

ECB chief executive Tim Lamb, speaking after Speed at Tuesday's news conference, said the board remained concerned about the 'deteriorating state of civil order in Zimbabwe'.

He said he was disappointed that the ICC had not appreciated how deeply the death threats -- dismissed as a hoax by South Africa's police and security services -- had affected the England players.

He added: "We do not consider the ICC's direction to do so [to play the Harare game] is a reasonable one, considering all the evidence put before them.

"We are sorry it has come to this -- there have been no winners in this. The ECB will now fully comply with the procedures laid down by the ICC to resolve this."

© 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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Number of User Comments: 13

Sub: England's Harare fixture cancelled

Hi all, I am not agree with the decision England has taken. ICC should enquire it before consulting with all the team managers about the ...


Sub: England Harare Fixture

ICC tooks months to resolve the whole sponsorship isue with India. At one point there were even threats that India wouldn't be allowed to participate ...

Posted by anu

Sub: matches in zimbabwe

ICC's verdict of canceling ENG-ZIM tie, due at Harare on 13th Feb, and sharing the points between the two is totaly unjustified. Countries such as ...

Posted by govind maheshwari

Sub: biased decision

What is the need for re-scheduling the match or changing the venue???? Aren't other countries playing in Zimbabwe??? Let England forfeit the points if they ...

Posted by bharani

Sub: Get on with it!

What is this "second appeal" business? Hasnt it gone on long enough? This is cricket, guys, and it's high time everybody gets on with the ...

Posted by Sriram


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