Zimbabwe pull out of World Twenty20

ICC World Twenty20 2009

Zimbabwe have confirmed they will take no part in next summer’s ICC World Twenty20 in England.

Scotland will compete in the elite tournament instead, after the International Cricket Council and Zimbabwe Cricket today ratified a decision initially agreed at the world governing body’s annual conference in Dubai two months ago.

Scotland coach Peter Steindl welcomed the announcement, saying: “It`s brilliant. It`s great news for us and all the players and we`re looking forward to the tournament.

“It`s a good way for us to develop our game. It`s also a chance for us to develop the game in Scotland.”

Scotland lost out to Ireland and Holland in the race to qualify automatically but Steindl is sure his side can hold their own in the finals.

“We are going to go in there and be competitive,” he said, before acknowledging his side face a tough task to progress in a group containing South Africa and New Zealand.

“Those teams are strong in the 50-over and 20-over formats.”

Cricket Scotland chief executive Roddy Smith added: “We`re delighted. We were expecting this decision so it`s nice it`s all finally resolved.”

Contrary to reports that Zimbabwe were beginning to waver on the offer to withdraw they made back in June, they and ICC president David Morgan, vice-president Sharad Pawar and chief executive Haroon Lorgat agreed at a meeting in Dubai today that the arrangement will stand.

The ECB suspended bilateral ties with Zimbabwe in June on the instructions of the British Government, prompting Zimbabwe’s tour of England next year to be cancelled.

And, with Zimbabwe players and officials unlikely to be issued visas for the World Twenty20, their board decided to withdraw from the tournament.

Morgan said: “We are grateful to Zimbabwe Cricket for confirming the decision taken by its officials during annual conference week.

“This allows the ICC the opportunity to plan with certainty the ICC World Twenty20 2009, as well as giving Scotland, the side set to step up in Zimbabwe’s place, plenty of preparation time ahead of the tournament.”

The Zimbabwe Cricket delegation that met with ICC officials was made up of chairman Peter Chingoka, vice-chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani, and the chairman of the legal and constitutional committee, Wilson Manase.

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