Sunday, February 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

ICC rejects England plea
Zimbabwe get full points for cancelled tie

Johannesburg, February 15
The International Cricket Council today turned down England’s plea to relocate their World Cup match against Zimbabwe, ending weeks of uncertainty over the fate of the match.

The World Cup technical committee, which met here to take the vital decision, ruled against shifting the match out Zimbabwe and said the points from Thursday’s cancelled game in Harare will be awarded to the hosts.

England’s players, backed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), refused to travel to Zimbabwe because of security concerns.

But the technical committee ruled against them after considering a legal submission from the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The decision means that England will not only forfeit four points but could face huge compensation claims.

The ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said: “It’s a decision that gives the committee no pleasure”.

The ECB had hoped that the death-threat letter they received from an organisation called Sons and Daughters of Zimbabwe, would act as the key evidence to support their case.

But the ICC decided that the “concerns raised about new evidence were not justified.”

England’s appeal for the match to be relocated was earlier turned down twice by the ICC.

The ICC had to decide today whether to hand Zimbabwe the four points as an England forfeit, or to split them between the two teams, or to reschedule the game or relocate it to South Africa.

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