Zimbabwe news September 4, 2010

Scotland's refusal to tour is an insult - Campbell

Cricinfo staff

Zimbabwe's chairman of selectors, Alistair Campbell, has criticised the UK government's advice against visiting the country and Cricket Scotland's subsequent decision to not tour Zimbabwe for an ICC Intercontinental Cup fixture in October.

"We have ten Englishmen playing cricket and coaching in Zimbabwe, including our national coach Alan Butcher, and apart from anything else the decision is an insult to them," Campbell told AFP.

The match was initially scheduled for a neutral African venue before the Scotland board agreed to a proposal to play in Zimbabwe, but a change in the UK government's policy led to the reversing of the decision. It was a setback to Zimbabwe's return to the fold following their withdrawal from Test cricket in 2006. India and Sri Lanka toured the country for a triangular series in May, and Ireland confirmed their September trip for an Intercontinental Cup game and three ODIs. Kenya and Afghanistan also played their Intercontinental Cup matches in the country recently.

When asked about Zimbabwe's proposed visit to Pakistan later in 2010, Campbell was confident that most of the players would be willing to tour the country. The players are yet to be sounded out on the sensitive issue of touring Pakistan, where no international cricket has been played since March 2009 following the terror attacks on the touring Sri Lanka side. Campbell said that if a player refused, he will not be pressured to go.

Zimbabwe Cricket had earlier said that it was prepared to send a team to Pakistan to help raise funds for people affected by the floods that have ravaged the country. However, the schedule of Pakistan's tour of New Zealand may have to be altered in order to accommodate Zimbabwe's trip.