The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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English players insist on shift

London: England’s cricketers’ association urged the ICC again on Friday to transfer a World Cup match in Harare on February 13 to South Africa.

In a statement the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) said it fully sympathised with New Zealand’s decision earlier on Friday to pull out of their fixture in Nairobi for security reasons.

It said it would be holding regular talks with the ICC, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Foreign Office over the next few days.

On Monday the England team issued a statement saying they wanted their match transferred to South Africa because of growing concern about the political situation in Zimbabwe.

Following New Zealand’s decision, England’s players have now nine days to decide whether do the same against Zimbabwe.

Nasser Hussain and his team, having heard the ICC reject their call for the game to be moved to South Africa, might still boycott the match, PCA spokesman Richard Bevan said on Friday.

“All options are open to the players,” he said. “Everybody wanted this fixture to be moved to South Africa.”

The ICC has made assurances that security is tight enough for the six games in Zimbabwe to go ahead, with 433 police officers on duty at each game.

The English players are resting at Sun City before moving to their training camp at Port Elizabeth and have made no comments.

Bevan said his organisation and the ECB are in talks to decide on the next move.

“What we are doing is working with the ECB and (its chief executive) Tim Lamb is working hard to try to ensure that the right decision is reached,” he said.

“We have until February 9 to make sure that when we do make the decision it is the right decision.”

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