Topley delighted by ECB decision

The England and Wales Cricket Board have announced their decision to fulfil next month's World Cup fixture in Zimbabwe.The ECB had come under pressure from Government to withdraw the England side from their February 13 game against the tournament co-hosts in Harare in protest at President Robert Mugabe's regime.

By Mel Henderson

The England and Wales Cricket Board have announced their decision to fulfil next month's World Cup fixture in Zimbabwe.

The ECB had come under pressure from Government to withdraw the England side from their February 13 game against the tournament co-hosts in Harare in protest at President Robert Mugabe's regime.

The management board of the ECB met today at Lord's to discuss the issue but have decided not to bow to pressure to boycott the countryEngland will now begin the tournament as scheduled in Zimbabwe unless the ICC rule that it is unsafe for teams to travel to the country.

Former Zimbabwe coach Don Topley, now a master at Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, warmly welcomed the decision.

He said: "The Government did have an opportunity to take issue with this over a year ago and I am pleased that common sense has prevailed.

Most Read

"It is exactly the decision I suggested ever since this matter was raised, not by the Government but by individuals MPs.

"I am happy to hear the news, but I do hope the Government can take a lead to target the likes of China for the next Olympics rather than a soft touch like England's single game in Zimbabwe.

"I don't want to get too political but there is now an opportunity for Tony Blair and his colleagues to take on China over Human Rights issues. But I fear they won't – because it will be too hot and too big a political potato."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter