ECB still drawing out Zimbabwe tour decision

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The Independent Online

The England and Wales Cricket Board is no nearer a decision on whether England will tour Zimbabwe in November and today's "summit" meeting between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman, Peter Chingoka, a ZCU board member Ozias Bvute and the ECB management board at Lord's is not expected to make much further headway.

The ECB has already warned that today's meeting will not result in a decision. The Board would prefer not to send a team to Zimbabwe but is wary of the £1.2m fine that will be imposed by the International Cricket Council, the game's world governing body, should England not fulfil their obligation to tour.

In January, Des Wilson, chairman of the ECB's corporate affairs and marketing advisory committee, published a document entitled "A Framework For Rational Decision Making". It set out six requirements that a country must fulfil before a tour can go ahead, among which was the question of safety and security - realistically the only way the ECB can escape the wrath of the ICC - as well as moral considerations.

Wilson's paper has failed to prompt any decisions with further delays the order of the day. The ECB is now claiming that it will consult with government ministers before announcing its decision next month.

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