Zimbabwe in spotlight

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The Independent Online

England's tour to Zimbabwe next October, which is under threat because of the troubles in the African state, will be discussed when the England and Wales Cricket Board's management board meets at the end of February.

The ECB's chief executive, Tim Lamb, is adamant that the board will not allow its decision to be influenced by outside pressures from those wanting Zimbabwe's ruling regime to be isolated. England refused to play a World Cup match in Zimbabwe earlier this year amid pressure over human rights issues there.

Lamb said: "It was the ECB that decided in the end not to go to Harare to play that World Cup match. We didn't receive the necessary assurances over safety and security."

He said the ECB would rule on the October tour "at the right time, for the right reasons and with the right people making that decision. We are well aware of the pressure that we will come under. It's going to be a question of balancing the political and moral argument with our obligations to the international fraternity."