English cricketers suspend Zimbabwe ties

June 25th, 2008 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
London, June 25 (DPA) The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Wednesday suspended all bilateral arrangements with Zimbabwe in a move resulting in the effective cancellation of Zimbabwe’s 2009 England tour. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham handed a letter to the ECB clarifying the view of Prime Minister Gordon Brown “to ensure that Zimbabwe does not tour England next year”.

In a statement, the ECB said it was following the example of South Africa and suspending all bilateral links with Zimbabwe.

“The ECB deplores the position in Zimbabwe and, like Cricket South Africa, finds this untenable,” the statement read.

“Therefore all bilateral arrangements are suspended with Zimbabwe Cricket with immediate effect.”

It said the government had written to the ECB and made a “clear instruction” that Zimbabwe’s bilateral tour scheduled under the ICC Future Tours Programme for 2009 should be cancelled.

The ECB, which had been in a “constructive and extensive dialogue” with the government Department for Culture, Media and Sport, welcomed the government decision and said it shared the government’s concerns about the “deteriorating situation and lack of human rights in Zimbabwe”.

Zimbabwe were due to play two Tests and three one-day matches in England next year, as well as the World Twenty20 in June.

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