ECB Media Release — 09/09/2004
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today confirmed its intention to play a 5-match One-Day International series in Zimbabwe later this year subject to it being safe and secure to do so.
A pre-tour inspection visit to Zimbabwe involving a security consultancy and representatives of the ECB and the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) will take place in the run-up to the tour and the security situation will be closely monitored on an ongoing basis.
The ECB has kept the duration of the Tour to a minimum as per the itinerary below:
Wed 24 or Thu 25 Nov England Team arrive Harare
Fri 26 Nov 1st ODI Harare
Sun 28 Nov 2nd ODI Harare
Wed 1 Dec 3rd ODI Bulawayo
Sat 4 Dec 4th ODI Bulawayo
Sun 5 Dec 5th ODI Bulawayo
Mon 6 Dec England Team depart for Johannesburg
The Touring Team will be selected at an appropriate time after England’s involvement in the ICC Champions Trophy is completed.
After the final npower Test Match of the summer the current One Day International Players and Team Management were asked to make themselves available for the Tour.
ECB Chairman, David Morgan, said: “The Board has concluded that the tour to Zimbabwe must go ahead, subject to it being safe and secure to do so and in the absence of firm instruction from Government not to tour.
“Following the adoption of the Future Tours Programme Agreement as an ICC Regulation in March 2004, it has become a contractual obligation for the England team to tour Zimbabwe. If the ECB were to breach this regulation by not touring, other than on safety and security grounds or as a result of Government instruction not to tour, we could be subject to severe financial penalties including a possibility of suspension from the ICC which would have a devastating impact on cricket in England and Wales at all levels.
“After meeting with Government ministers the ECB understands that although the Government would prefer the tour not to take place, it does not have the legal powers to instruct ECB not to tour. In turn the Government understands that ECB has to undertake the tour to protect the game’s interests.
“When we met with England players and management at the conclusion of the npower Test Series we advised them that we had to undertake the Tour subject to it being safe and secure to do so. Whilst it was re-iterated that any individual who decided not to make himself available for reasons of personal conscience would not be penalised, we emphasised that our preferred solution was for all players and management to make themselves available to tour.
“I must emphasise again that by undertaking the Tour, Players and Management will be in no way condoning the situation in Zimbabwe, but rather following the direction of their Board and recognising that the Tour has to proceed to safeguard the interests of the game. Furthermore, the Tour Party will neither be involved in official functions nor meet with members of the Government during the tour
“Finally, I would emphasise that the ECB does want to support cricket in Zimbabwe and continues to have sympathy for the plight of Zimbabwean people.”
ECB: England Team Media Relations Manager — Andrew Walpole, 07785 527102