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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Zimbabwe to remain out of test cricket

Zimbabwe's return to test cricket could be at least six months to two years away, the International Cricket Council said Saturday.

A team headed by Julian Hunte, president of the West Indies Cricket Board, presented an interim report to the ICC's board following a visit to Zimbabwe by Hunte and ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat in November.

"Pending submission of that final report, the board was told that none of the stakeholders spoken to during the visit were of the view that Zimbabwe was ready to return to test cricket, with time frames proposed ranging from six months to two years or more," the ICC said in a statement.

Zimbabwe has not played test cricket since 2006. In August, Zimbabwe withdrew from this year's World Twenty20 tournament in England.

Zimbabwe was replaced by Scotland for the tournament in June.

The African country pulled out because the British government would not grant visas in protest of Robert Mugabe claiming victory in a widely discredited presidential election last year. The England and Wales Cricket Board has also cut ties with Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka was replaced at the Perth meetings by Wilfred Mukondiwa, who was listed in an ICC release on the meetings as an alternate for Chingoka.

Chingoka, a supporter of Mugabe, was banned from visiting Australia by the federal government as part of sanctions against the Mugabe regime.

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