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British PM wants Zimbabwe's England tour shelved

The British Govt has told England and Wales Cricket Board that it wants them to pull the plug on Zimbabwe's planned tour in London next year.

cricket Updated: Jan 03, 2008 13:42 IST

The British government has told English cricket's governing body that it wants them to pull the plug on Zimbabwe's planned tour in London next year, The Sun newspaper said on Thursday.

The daily tabloid quoted an unnamed government source as saying that ministers had informed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that they did not want the tour to go ahead.

"England's cricket authorities wanted assurance from us about what to do and now they have it," the source was quoted as saying.

Zimbabwe are due to play two Tests and three one-day internationals in London in mid-2009 and compete in the Twenty20 World Cup, with England due to tour Zimbabwe in 2012.

There was no immediate word from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office, but if confirmed it would signal the latest snub to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Brown stayed away from a key summit of European and African leaders in Portugal last month, saying it would be inappropriate for him to sit down at the same table as the Zimbabwean leader.

The prime minister has accused Mugabe of "ruthlessly destroying" human rights, violently stifling political opposition and presiding over an economic free-fall that has heaped misery and suffering on Zimbabweans.