British government says Zimbabwe tour "unwelcome"

  • World
  • Tuesday, 24 Jun 2008

MYT 8:01:43 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Tuesday that Zimbabwe's planned cricket tour of England next year would be "unwelcome" given the situation in the country.

The government also said it had "serious concerns" about Zimbabwe participating in the Twenty20 World Cup in England in 2009.

"Under the current circumstances, it's the government's view that the tour would clearly be unwelcome," Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said.

Brown's spokesman said British authorities were discussing the visit with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"Under current circumstances, we'd have serious concerns about Zimbabwe participating in the Twenty20 World Cup but this is a matter we would need to discuss further with our ICC colleagues because this is not something that is solely in our gift to take a decision on," the spokesman said.

Zimbabwe are due to play two test and three one-day matches in England in May, ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in June.


ICC president-elect David Morgan said on Tuesday that the body would discuss Zimbabwe at a meeting next week.

Zimbabwe has been thrown into turmoil since its disputed election in March and the opposition MDC withdrew on Sunday from a presidential run-off with Robert Mugabe because of violence.

"It has been decided to put Zimbabwe on the agenda of the executive board meeting of the ICC which takes place next Wednesday in Dubai," Morgan said at the launch of the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup at Lord's.

Cricket South Africa (CSA), one of Zimbabwe's strongest backers, said on Monday it had suspended its domestic agreements with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

"Cricket South Africa's decision yesterday is hugely significant," Morgan added. "Clearly they will want something done. They're very influential in terms of southern African cricket and Zimbabwe is part of that.

"Quite where the various (ICC) members will stand on it I really don't know -- all this is new as of five o'clock yesterday."

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