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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

ZCU wants ICC to make teams play Zimbabwe regularly

ZCU chief Peter Chingoka was responding to threats from the British government to ban Zimbabwe's tour of England next year.

cricket Updated: Jan 12, 2008 22:01 IST


Zimbabwe Cricket Union has asked the ICC to play a more active role in making member countries play regularly against the African nation.

ZCU chief Peter Chingoka was responding to threats from the British government to ban Zimbabwe's tour of England next year.

Chingoka arrived with Zimbabwean team on Saturday for a tour of five one-day internationals which was in some doubt after the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Referring to the UK government's threat, he said it was the job of the International Cricket Council to make member countries fulfill their commitments to play Zimbabwe under the Future Tours Programme and ensure the FTP remains sacrosanct.

The Gordon Brown government has indicated it might not allow Zimbabwe to come to England in 2009 because of the poor human rights record of the Robert Mugabe government.

The ICC has said that if England did not host the African nation, they faced the risk of having the Twenty20 World Cup shifted from their country in 2009.

"Zimbabwe is looking to play more against other member nations as opposed to excuses not to play against each other," Chingoka said.

He said it was important for the globalisation of the sport that ICC member countries played regularly against the weaker nations.

"The ICC members have to look after each other and support each other. We need to work together to push the business of cricket and make it stronger and bigger," the ZCU chief said.

The 23-member Zimbabwe contingent reached Karachi amidst heavy security at the airport and will play a four-day game from Monday and five one-day internationals till February 2.

Chingoka said his team had come to Pakistan without any security fears and was focused on just playing cricket.

"We don't doubt the Pakistan Board will look after us well. We are here to get on with the business of cricket."

Captain Prosper Utseya told a news conference that his players were not afraid of the strong opposition and had come to Pakistan with the purpose of putting up a good fight.

"The way I see it if we can beat Australia and West Indies in recent times, than we just need to be a bit more consistent and we can beat anyone in the world," he said.

Zimbabwe's Test status has been suspended since 2004 because of a players' revolt and other problems within the ZCU.

They beat Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and West Indies in a one-day international recently.

Chingoka said ZCU would move the ICC after a year to restore the African nation's Test status.

"The players are getting better technically and more young players are coming through so we are putting back our system steadily."

Coach Robin Brown was confident his players could put up a good fight against Pakistan.

"The tour is a very good opportunity for the players to do well against quality spinners," he said.