Harare, April 12 (AFP): Zimbabwe’s scheduled 10-week tour of England and Ireland has been given the green light.
After weeks of anxious waiting for a decision by the country’s Sports and Recreation Commission, Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) chairman Peter Chingoka got an approval last night by the Commission chairman Anthony Mandiwanza.
Chingoka would not confirm the go-ahead until he received it in writing, but a reliable source said: “I can tell you that approval for the tour has been received but it won’t be released officially until the sports commission letter arrives.”
Neither Chingoka nor ZCU chief executive Vincent Hogg were available for comment today.
The ZCU have spent anxious weeks awaiting the sports commission’s decision because it was feared that the government of Robert Mugabe might intervene to stop the tour in response to the boycott of Harare during the World Cup by England.
But Mandiwanza said: “We have a clear mandate at the commission in decision making. And we deal only with sport, not politics.”
He added that a delay in getting back to the ZCU was because he had been away and for no other reason. And he emphasised there had been no input by any government ministry.
However, this was contrary to what had been previously stated by his director-general Elias Musangeya, who said the matter had gone first to foreign affairs and then to the ministry of education, sports and culture.
Zimbabwe will now select a squad for the tour on Monday consisting of probably 16 players.
NZ series on: Sri Lanka
New Zealand’s tour of Sri Lanka is set to go ahead, the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) said in Colombo Saturday.
The team was due in Colombo early Tuesday, the Sri Lankan cricket board said.
The New Zealanders had said they would monitor the rapidly spreading SARS before deciding on the tour. No SARS cases have been reported in Sri Lanka. New Zealand will play two Tests, and then take part in a one-day tri-series with Sri Lanka and Pakistan.The first Test gets under way in Colombo on April 25.