ZImbabwe saga January 19, 2006

ICC supports Zimbabwe decision

Cricinfo staff

The ICC has welcomed the decisions of the interim committee in charge of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to withdraw from its Test commitments until 2007, and to commission an independent investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement.

The ICC President, Ehsan Mani, said that ZC had made the right decision in withdrawing from Tests in 2006. "Zimbabwe Cricket has taken a sensible step in withdrawing from its Test cricket commitments for the coming year.

"The Zimbabwe team has demonstrated in recent series that it is not in a position to be competitive in Test cricket and its decision to withdraw from its commitments over the next 12 months helps protect the integrity of the international game.

"During this period we will support Zimbabwe Cricket by encouraging other members to host and undertake tours that expose Zimbabwe's elite cricketers to the longer form of the game.

"We will closely monitor the performance and progress of the team and towards the end of the year we will work with Zimbabwe Cricket to determine the most appropriate course of action."

Mani also supported the interim committee's decisions to investigate allegations of financial mismanagement and involve a players' representative in its technical and player welfare committee.

"We welcome the interim committee's decision to commission an independent investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement," Mani added. "The inclusion of a representative nominated by the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers' Association in the decision-making processes of the board is also a positive step towards ensuring that the views of the players are taken into account."

The decisions taken in Harare, on Wednesday, follows a meeting between the ICC and the chairman of the interim committee, Peter Chingoka, in Karachi last week. During this meeting a range of concerns were raised by Mani and the ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed.

Mani emphasised that there was still a lot of additional work to be done by the interim committee. "These developments address many of the concerns raised by the ICC in its meeting with Peter Chingoka, and in a subsequent letter to the interim committee, but there remain other issues that must be addressed and we will continue to monitor the progress of the interim board on a wide range of topics."

Zimbabwe's next Test commitment was to have been a tour of West Indies that was due to commence in April. Related scheduling discussions between Zimbabwe, West Indies, the ICC and other members are already underway.