London, Jan. 25 (Reuters): England’s cricket team have received anonymous letters threatening violence if they travel to Zimbabwe for the World Cup.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman David Morgan said the team received the threats at their hotel earlier this week in Sydney, the BBC’s website reported on Saturday. The letters warned of violent consequences, including riots and disturbances before and during the game, if England travelled to Zimbabwe. Nasser Hussain’s team play the home side in Harare on February 13.
Morgan said he had been told of the letters by Hussain and that the enthusiasm of the 15-man squad to play in Zimbabwe was diminishing.
World Cup executive director Ali Bacher said the letters should be treated with suspicion. “In South Africa over the years I have received many anonymous threatening letters,” Bacher said. “Most people don’t put a name to them. I’ve never gone to the police and I’m still around today.”
England and Australia have resisted calls from their governments to boycott matches in Zimbabwe.
However, following a review of security arrangements there, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said the board decided there was “no reason on grounds of safety and security to relocate the matches scheduled to be played in Zimbabwe”.