The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ICC clarifies stand

London: Cricket’s world governing body said Sunday it doesn’t want to publicise its security report on England’s game against Zimbabwe in case details fall into the wrong hands.

Replying to protests from the England players’ representatives that they had been refused access to the report, Malcolm Speed, chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) said that sending copies to each of the 14 countries invited a breach of security.

While the ICC and the players’ employer, the England and Wales Cricket Board, have said the February 13 game in Harare will go ahead, the players have called for it to be switched to South Africa on safety grounds.

Opponents to president Robert Mugabe’s regime have threatened riots to disrupt the game and the players fear they will be caught up in the trouble.

England captain Nasser Hussain, whose team is warming up for the championship in Port Elizabeth, said he didn’t want to say anything to inflame the situation.

“We are just getting people’s opinions and the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) and our representatives and the board are talking daily about security reasons and things like that,” he said.

“It’s a delicate issue at the moment and one stupid line from me or the rest of the team might put everything in jeopardy,” Hussain said.

A report by an independent american security company Kroll has satisfied the ICC and ECB that security will be tight enough for the games not to be switched. But PCA managing director Richard Bevan says his organisation has been unable to see the report to make up its own mind.

“We are definitely not happy about this,” Bevan was quoted as saying in The Mail today.

The report is central to the issue of security of the players, in fact it is what the ICC have based their decision to proceed upon. Yet, the players have been denied access to the report.”

Speed said his organisation didn't release the report in case that protesters might benefit from information on security.

“We’ve said to the ECB that we don’t put the 1,000 page document out,” he said. “We’re not making copies of that and sending that to every country because I think that then invites a breach of security.”

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