ECB And England Players’ Representative Report From Pre-Tour Visit To Zimbabwe - 27/10/2004
The delegation of John Carr, ECB Director of Cricket Operations, and Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the PCA, have reported back to the ECB Management Board following their pre-tour visit to Bulawayo and Harare, 18-22 October 2004.
The visit followed the ECB’s announcement on 9 September 2004 of the Zimbabwe tour itinerary and of confirmation that the tour must progress as planned if it is safe and secure for it to do so (copy of release below). The main objective of the visit was to establish the current safety and security profile in respect of the tour.
To this end John Carr and Richard Bevan were accompanied throughout by a security consultant, who has been appointed for the Tour. They met with the Minister of Home Affairs, police chiefs in Bulawayo and Harare, ZCU officials responsible for security issues at the grounds, embassies including a meeting with the British Ambassador and other senior officials at the British Embassy, Opposition MPs and a number of residents and business people.
The Minister of Home Affairs and the police provided detailed assurances that there would be no problems with security for the Tour. The British Embassy confirmed that they felt that the Tour would be safe and secure not only for the Tour Party but also for travelling supporters and media provided that their travel advice was strictly adhered to.
It was concluded that the ECB should urge any travelling supporters and media to carefully observe the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice for Zimbabwe. Specific advice for visitors during the tour will be issued by the British Embassy in Harare in advance of the tour and this will be made available from the FCO and via the ECB web-site: www.ecb.co.uk , and communicated directly to each member of the media receiving accreditation to cover the ODI Series.
The FCO and British Embassy in Harare will continue to assist the ECB in monitoring the on-going safety and security situation through to the end of the tour.
ECB Chairman, David Morgan, said, “The ECB Management Board has received a thorough report from the pre-tour visit and we are grateful to the delegation that went to Zimbabwe and to the ZCU for their full co-operation with the visit.
“We have satisfied ourselves that appropriate safety and security measures will be in place to protect the England touring party and officials. We are also concerned about the safety and security of travelling supporters and the media, and we concluded that Zimbabwe will provide a safe environment provided that they adhere to the Government’s specific travel advice.
“I will be travelling with the Team throughout the tour alongside the Chief Executive of the PCA, Richard Bevan, which will ensure we are able to respond to any major issues as quickly as possible.”
PCA Chief Executive, Richard Bevan, said, “The decision to tour in no way indicates that players are seeking to condone the situation in Zimbabwe. We look instead to Government to provide the lead on any moral or political imperatives. They have not intervened on this issue and therefore we are relying on detailed assurances received from all the relevant authorities including the British Embassy. Should such undertakings be breached there will be an immediate review of the players’ position.”