The Zimbabwe crisis May 5, 2004

'Zimbabwe tour morally wrong' - Stewart

Wisden Cricinfo staff

'It isn't right to go': Stewart © Getty Images

Alec Stewart, who represented England for over a decade before retiring at the age of 40 last year, has said that the proposed tour of Zimbabwe in October is both unsafe and morally wrong. England are expected to honour their commitment and tour Zimbabwe, unless security fears or a an unlikely veto from the British government force them to do otherwise. The International Cricket Council had warned them of serious repercussions and a massive fine if they failed to meet their obligations.

Speaking at a fundraiser, Stewart said: "What's happening in Zimbabwe isn't right. Morally, and for safety and security issues, it's probably not right to go. In fact, it isn't right to go." Stewart was part of the World Cup squad that refused to play in Zimbabwe last year, citing security concerns.

"The ECB have been backed into a corner," said Stewart. "The ICC have put the ECB under huge pressure with financial penalties on the tour ... that's harsh."

Stuart MacGill has already pulled out of Australia's tour of Zimbabwe later this month, but few other Australian players seem likely to follow his example.