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Zimbabwe faces suspension from ICC over political interference
Zimbabwe News

Zimbabwe faces suspension from ICC over political interference

The International Cricket Council has decided to suspend Zimbabwe Cricket with immediate effect for continuing to experience high levels of government interference, in contrary to the apex body's rules.

The punishment meted out to Zimbabwe causes their participation in the qualifiers for the World T20 later this year, to be clouded in uncertainty.

The ICC's judgment means Zimbabwe Cricket will cease to receive funding and its teams cannot take part in any events organized by the sport's governing body.

"The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again at the October board meeting," the ICC said in a statement.

"The ICC board heard from both the Sports and Recreation Committee representatives of the Zimbabwe government and Zimbabwe Cricket before making their decision."

"We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly but we must keep our sport free from political interference," ICC chairman Shashank Manohar declared.

'Serious breach of ICC constitution'

The failure to conduct free elections within Zimbabwe Cricket is perceived by the ICC as a violation of its constitution.

"What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked.

"The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC constitution."

Zimbabwe acquired full ICC membership in 1992 but its cricket journey over the last fifteen years has been a turbulent one rife with instances of political interference.

Meanwhile, Croatia Cricket Federation and the Zambia Cricket Union have also been suspended by the ICC for non-compliance while Moroccan Royal Cricket Federation has been expelled for persistent non-compliance.

The top-tier meeting has also seen ICC approve the use of concussion substitutions in effect from the first Ashes Test on August 1.

In another important decision, the practice of suspending captains for serious over-rate breaches has been terminated as fines will be equally spread among the players while a system of deduction of points for slow over-rates has been introduced.