ICC indecisive over Zimbabwe suspension

Dubai, July 3:

World cricket chiefs have failed to reach a consensus on suspending strife-torn Zimbabwe and will meet again on Friday to resolve the contentious issue.

The two-day meeting of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Executive Board ended here today without a decision on Zimbabwe amid reports of a split among the 10 full members.

Cricket boards of South Africa and England last week suspended bilateral ties with Zimbabwe in protest at the deteriorating political situation in Harare where Robert Mugabe was controversially re-elected as president.

While England and South Africa want Zimbabwe to be suspended from the ICC, the Asian bloc led by India oppose the move. At least seven of the ICC’s 10 full members — including Zimbabwe — have to support any decision to throw the African nation out of the sport’s governing body.

If Zimbabwe retain their full membership, England risk losing the right to host the lucrative Twenty20 World Championships in June next year if the British government denies visas to the Zimbabwean cricketers.

Former England cricket chief David Morgan is due to take over as the ICC president from South African Ray Mali on Friday. Zimbabwe have not played Test cricket since hosting India in September, 2005 after being told by the ICC to improve their playing standards. But they retain an active one-day team which take part in the World Cup.