Zimbabwe count cost of England match chaos

  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 13 Feb 2003

HARARE: The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) have begun counting the millions of dollars they will lose after their cricket team’s World Cup match against England today was called off. 

The game was scheduled for Harare, but was called off on Tuesday following a lengthy battle of wills between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). 

“We’ve only just started to add up how much money will go down the drain, but it runs into millions and millions of Zimbabwe dollars and millions of US dollars,” Vince Hogg, the managing director of the ZCU, told Reuters yesterday. 

“For a start, we’ve had to pay a 100% cancellation fee for all the hotel rooms we booked.” 

Hogg declined to say how many rooms had been reserved. A room at the hotel where the England squad and their supporters would have stayed costs US$130 a night. 

“We had a 44-seater bus laid on to transport the supporters from the airport, and a lot of auxilliary transport as well,” Hogg said. 

Hogg said it was also too late to cancel catering and security arrangements for the match, and that those costs would also have to be borne by the ZCU. 

He was uncertain whether people who had tickets for the game would be able to use them for another match or would be reimbursed. 

“It’s an ICC match, and we’re waiting for direction from them,” Hogg said. 

Matters relating to the Zimbabwe against England fixture will now return to the tournament's technical committee for a second time. It will decide either to switch the game to South Africa, cancel it altogether and share out the points or award a victory to Zimbabwe by default. 

The mood at Harare Sports Club yesterday was subdued as work crews removed banks of seating and dismantled hospitality enclosures that had been erected for what would have been the biggest occasion of the Zimbabwean summer. 

Box owners said they would open their premises and entertain guests regardless of the match being cancelled. – Reuters 

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