New Zealand captain Fleming may boycott Zimbabwe tour

New Zealand 522-9 dec
Sri Lanka 211 & 273
NZ win by innings and 38 runs

Stephen Fleming is considering boycotting his team's planned tour of Zimbabwe this year on moral grounds, the captain of New Zealand said yesterday following his side's Test victory over Sri Lanka here in Wellington yesterday.

Stephen Fleming is considering boycotting his team's planned tour of Zimbabwe this year on moral grounds, the captain of New Zealand said yesterday following his side's Test victory over Sri Lanka here in Wellington yesterday.

Fleming's team are under pressure to cancel the August tour in protest at the regime of Robert Mugabe - with the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clarke, among the chorus of protesters. New Zealand Cricket, which faces a fine from the International Cricket Council if the tour is called off, has said the tour will go ahead but no action will be taken against players who refuse to go.

"If the information that I read suggests it's not wise to go and that will make a difference, then that's something I'll consider," Fleming, who flies into England this weekend to captain Nottinghamshire, said. "I'll be reading a lot, watching the situation and trying to educate myself on what impact the tour will have."

On the field Fleming's swing bowlers outfoxed Sri Lanka to seal victory by an innings and 38 runs on the fourth day to take the series 1-0. Sri Lanka's batsmen, 10 for 1 overnight with a 311-run deficit, folded apart from Tillakaratne Dilshan, who hit 73 from 99 balls and Kumar Sangakkara who made 45.

James Franklin's swing took the key wickets of Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara, and he finished it off when Chaminda Vaas played on. Support came from Kyle Mills and Nathan Astle's "wobblers", which earned him figures of 6 for 62 in the match.

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