Zimbabwe was on Friday retained as a full member of the International Cricket Council after the strife-torn African nation agreed to pull out of next year’s Twenty20 World Cup as a last-minute compromise worked out by a sharply divided world body.
The ICC’s executive board, which met for the unscheduled third day following deadlock on the issue after two days of deliberations, agreed to maintain Zimbabwe's status after it agreed to India's advise to pull out of the Twenty20 World Cup in England.
"The full membership is currently not in doubt. There was not even a discussion on the issue of Zimbabwe's membership," incoming ICC president David Morgan told a press conference.
Zimbabwe's participation in the Twenty20 World Cup had become difficult after the British government had made it clear that the players would not be issued visas because of its stance against the political unrest under President Robert Mugabe's government.
"The Zimbabwe delegation to ICC annual conference week is aware of the decision of the British government not to allow its bilateral series in England in 2009 to go ahead," ICC said in a statement.
"Zimbabwe Cricket has also taken note that the British government is likely to refuse to grant visas for the Zimbabwe cricket team to take part in the ICC World Twenty20 2009. Therefore, the Zimbabwe delegation has decided to recommend to its board that the team should withdraw from that event," it said.
"The Zimbabwe delegation has agreed to take this decision in the greater interest of world cricket and the ICC," it added. The ICC also said the ZCU would not bear any financial repercussions for the withdrawal.