Zimbabwe out of T20 World Cup, retain ICC membership

Dubai, July 4:

Strife-torn Zimbabwe will remain a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), officials said today, after the deeply-divided world body worked out a last-minute compromise.

The ICC Executive Board agreed to keep Zimbabwe in its fold after the African nation acceded to India’s request to pull out of next year’s World Twenty20 championships in England. The British government had made it clear it would not issue visas to Zimbabwean cricketers, which could have forced the ICC to move the lucrative tournament out of England.

The cricket boards of South Africa and England last week suspended bilateral ties with Zimbabwe in protest at the deteriorating political situation in Harare, where President Robert Mugabe was controversially re-elected. While England and South Africa reportedly wanted Zimbabwe suspended from the ICC, the Asian bloc — led by India — opposed the move.