» Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Asked if Downing Street agreed with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ruling that it was the responsibility of the Government to decide whether the England cricket team should tour Zimbabwe later in the year, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the Government had been in contact with the England Cricket Board (ECB). As he understood it, the ECB was reflecting on these issues at the moment and would reach a decision shortly. Put to him that the ICC had suggested that one way for the ECB to withdraw from the Test Series against Zimbabwe without being penalised was if the British Government openly and actively discouraged them from going, the PMOS said that we had been in discussion with the ECB about this matter. There had also been correspondence between the ECB and the Foreign Office, the details upon which the ECB was currently reflecting. Asked what Downing Street’s view on the matter was, the PMOS said that we had underlined to the ECB the seriousness of the situation in Zimbabwe and our serious concerns about the Mugabe regime. They were now reflecting on our advice. This was part of a discussion process which would lead to a decision being taken by the ECB. Asked if we would take the decision rather than leave it to the ECB – thereby enabling them to avoid a fine, the PMOS said that the Government had given advice but the final decision was for the ECB. Asked if the Government would offer compensation for any financial losses that the ECB might incur, the PMOS said that, as he understood it, compensation had not been offered.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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