Vodafone give England the all clear © Getty Images
The last obstacle in the path of England's tour of Zimbabwe going ahead will be removed with the announcement later this week that the ECB is happy with security arrangements in Harare and Bulawayo.

John Carr, the board's director of cricket, and Richard Bevan, representing the players, spent two days in Zimbabwe last week meeting with officials and opposition representatives. Although their conclusions are not yet public, it is widely expected that they will give the trip the all clear.

If the matches go ahead, anyone wanting to follow them from the UK could struggle. BSkyB, who have covered England's overseas tours since 1989-90, has said that it will not be tendering for the TV rights, and none of the terrestrial channels are likely to be interested. In normal circumstances, the BBC would be the only broadcaster to have any interest in radio coverage - but that will not happen as it is banned from entering Zimbabwe ever since Robert Mugabe ruled that it was a "terrorist organisation".

On Friday, a spokesman for Vodafone, England's main sponsors, said yesterday that there would be no objection to the team wearing the company logo in Zimbabwe.