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Zimbabwe rejects neutral ODI venue against Aus

cricket Updated: May 15, 2007 09:41 IST

AP
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Australia's canceled limited overs cricket series against Zimbabwe will not be played at a neutral venue, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland contacted his Zimbabwean counterpart, Ozias Bvute on Monday suggesting the series be played in a third country, but Bvute rejected the suggestion.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Sunday banned Australia from playing the series in Zimbabwe on political grounds. "Mr. Bvute made it very clear that playing the series at a neutral venue was not a possibility," CA spokesman Peter Young said.

"We can now say definitely that the series will not be happening inside or outside Zimbabwe.

"The next international engagement for Australia will be the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September," Young added. Australia's first fixture in that competition is against Zimbabwe. That match is expected to go ahead as scheduled. The Australian Cricketers' Association had said the Australian players would have been prepared to play the matches at a neutral venue if one could be found.

"But that decision has obviously been taken out of their hands and what there is left to do is look forward to the Twenty20 World Cup and beyond," ACA spokesman Paul Marsh said.

Cricket Australia is the sport's national governing body, while the ACA represents cricket players in Australia.