Uncertainty over Zimbabwe's World T20 hopes after ICC suspends membership

Press Association Sport 17:47 19/07/2019
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Zimbabwe cricketers face an uncertain future.

Zimbabwe’s participation in qualifiers for the World T20 is in doubt after the International Cricket Council suspended their membership.

At an ICC board meeting in London, the sport’s governing body ruled that Zimbabwe Cricket had failed to ensure its board was not free from governmental interference.

As a consequence, ICC funding has been suspended and representative teams are banned from participating in ICC events.

“The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again at the October Board meeting,” a statement from the ICC read.

“The ICC board heard from both the Sports and Recreation Committee representatives of the Zimbabwe Government and Zimbabwe Cricket before making their decision.”

Zimbabwe were due to compete in the men’s World T20 qualifiers in the autumn and the women’s in August but their participation is now unclear.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: “We do not take the decision to suspend a Member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference.

“What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC Constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked.

“The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC Constitution.”

At the same meeting, the ICC also approved the introduction of concussion replacements, effective from the first Ashes Test, and a new way of fining players for slow over-rates, with captains no longer at the mercy of suspensions and fines instead being spread across a team.

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