ICC World Twenty20 2009 August 20, 2008

Zimbabwe confirm Twenty20 pullout

Cricinfo staff

Zimbabwe have confirmed they will not take part in next year's ICC World Twenty20 in England following meetings with the ICC in Dubai. The decision means Scotland, who finished third at the recent qualifying event in Belfast, will take their place next June.

During the ICC's annual conference week Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) officials had said they were willing to pull out of the event, but chairman Peter Chingoka was sent back to Dubai to discuss further details of the agreement. He met with ICC president David Morgan, vice president Sharad Pawar and chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

The decision has been taken as a one-off with ZC recognising that the UK Government would be unlikely to issue visas for the team given that they had already cancelled the planned bilateral series next May.

"We are grateful to Zimbabwe Cricket for confirming the decision taken by its officials during annual conference week," said Morgan. "This allows the ICC the opportunity to plan with certainty the ICC World Twenty20, as well as giving Scotland, the side set to step up in Zimbabwe's place, plenty of preparation time ahead of the tournament."

The ZC delegation that met with ICC officials on Wednesday was made up Chingoka, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ZC's vice chairman, and the chairman of the legal and constitutional committee Wilson Manase.

Scotland will face New Zealand and South Africa in Group D, while Ireland will move up to take Zimbabwe's place in Group A. The Irish, who had initially been in Group B with England, will face India and Bangladesh - while England are now grouped with Pakistan and Netherlands.