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Cricket (Zimbabwe)

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the English Cricket Board on plans by the English cricket team to tour Zimbabwe; when these discussions took place; who was present; what advice his Department gave to the ECB; what the Government's policy is on this matter; and if he will make a statement. [108701]

Foreign Office officials are in regular contact with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), but have not as yet discussed the England cricket team's tour of Zimbabwe in November 2004. But much could change in Zimbabwe between now and then. We stand ready to advise the ECB on safety and security issues relating to this tour nearer the time, taking account of all relevant factors, including the future political and humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.We made it clear ahead of the recent Cricket World Cup that we did not believe that the England team should play in Zimbabwe at that time. There has been no improvement on the ground in Zimbabwe to lead us to change this advice at the current time.