Zimbabwe have been persuaded to pull out of next year's World Twenty20 tournament in England.
Zimbabwe to miss World Twenty20
DUBAI// The International Cricket Council (ICC) have confirmed that Zimbabwe are set to pull out of the World Twenty20 in England next year. The ICC have been discussing the future of the troubled African country at a board meeting in Dubai after England and South Africa broke off cricketing relations last week. The meeting concluded with the Zimbabwe delegation offering not to take part in the 20-over competition in the "greater interest of world cricket and the ICC". Zimbabwe were also due to play two Tests and three one-day matches in England next year but the British government ruled they would not grant visas to the Zimbabwean players. The ICC statement read: "The Zimbabwe delegation to the ICC Annual Conference week is aware of the decision of the British government not to allow its bilateral series in England in 2009 to go ahead. "Zimbabwe Cricket has also taken note that the British government is likely to refuse to grant visas for the Zimbabwe cricket team to take part in the ICC World Twenty20 2009. "Therefore, the Zimbabwe delegation has decided to recommend to its board that the team should withdraw from that event. "The delegation has undertaken to report back on the decision of its board to the ICC within one month. "The delegation will report to its board that it will not suffer financially as a result of its non-participation in the ICC World Twenty20 2009. "The Zimbabwe delegation has agreed to take this decision in the greater interest of world cricket and the ICC. This recommendation should be viewed as a one-off and will not be taken as a precedent." The country will retain full member status of the ICC although the world game's governing body are to examine measures to try to improve the country's standing within the sport. The ICC statement added: "Outgoing ICC president Ray Mali has recommended that a sub-committee be set up, chaired by Dr Julian Hunte (West Indies) and including another ICC Board member Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka) and an official from the ICC (to be confirmed). "The role of this sub-committee will be to advise the ICC Board on all matters relating to Zimbabwe cricket including its return to full participation in the international game." The Zimbabwean delegation's decision to recommend they pull out of the World Twenty20 will be viewed as a compromise. The cricket boards of South Africa and England, both of whom severed bilateral ties with Zimbabwe Cricket following president Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election, had supported the idea of suspending Zimbabwe's full member status of the ICC. But the powerful Asian bloc - led by India - continued to support Zimbabwe. * PA Sport
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