ECB cuts links with Zimbabwe cricket

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The Independent Online

The England and Wales Cricket Board today officially severed ties with Zimbabwe Cricket after the Government "concluded that it would not be right to allow the proposed tour (to England) by Zimbabwe Cricket in 2009 to take place".

Having received a letter from Andy Burnham, minister for Culture, Media and Sport, outlining the governmental position, the ECB released a statement which confirmed they were suspending bilateral arrangements with the African country, following the lead of South Africa earlier this week.

"The ECB deplores the position in Zimbabwe and, like Cricket South Africa, finds this untenable," the statement read. "Therefore all bilateral arrangements are suspended with Zimbabwe Cricket with immediate effect.

"The Government has written to the ECB today and has made a clear instruction that Zimbabwe's bilateral tour scheduled under the ICC Future Tours Programme for 2009 should be cancelled.

"The ECB, who have been in constructive and extensive dialogue with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for some time, welcome the Government's decision and share the Government's concerns about the deteriorating situation and lack of human rights in Zimbabwe."