Vermeulen accused of starting fire which destroyed Academy November 3, 2006

Former Test player charged with arson

Cricinfo staff



The burnt-out remains of the Academy © Cricinfo
Mark Vermeulen has been charged by the police in connection with two arson attacks earlier this week which destroyed buildings at the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy and damaged an office at the headquarters of Zimbabwe Cricket. He is expected to appear in court in the next few days.

A source said that Vermeulen, who played eight Tests between 2002 and 2004, had been due to fly to Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"He's been detained since yesterday on charges of arson," Vermeulen's father Roland said. "We don't know at the moment where they are holding him ... but we are trying our best to get him out and sort matters while he is outside."

He flew back to Zimbabwe in September ostensibly to try to win back his place in the national side. But he was not picked in the provisional squad for the forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe and his chances of a recall appeared almost non existent.

His summer in England ended in controversy when he was banned - initially for ten years but that was reduced on appeal - following an altercation during a Lancashire League match.

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