Zimbabwe board bans journalists from AGM

The players' statement in full

Zimbabwe Cricket took the unprecedented step of barring five journalists from its annual general meeting in Bulawayo today.

Four local reporters and one from international agency AFP arrived at Queens Sports Club for the meeting only to find their entry blocked by Lovemore Banda, ZC's communications and media manager. He told the five that they would have to wait for an official press conference later in the afternoon. However, the five refused to budge and two police officers were called to escort them out of the building.

The move was all the more surprising as some of those ejected had been reminded less than 24 hours earlier that the meeting was taking place. And further confusion came when Ozias Bvute, the ZC managing director, told them that it was "not my decision."

It is likely that ZC banned the reporters as tough questions were expected in the light of yesterday's statement issued on behalf of the country's players which slated the board, accusing it of being "at best incompetent, and at worst, a bully".