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World Cup cricket: SA rallies behind Harare
Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2003


THE South African government has rallied behind Zimbabwe and will not support any move to switch some of this year’s World Cup cricket matches from either Zimbabwe or Kenya.

South Africa, the main hosts of the tournament, also said it was concerned that English and Australian cricketers were being placed under "undue pressure" not to play their matches in Zimbabwe.

"We will not support any move to shift matches from either Zimbabwe or Kenya and believe that the ICC should be supported by all 14 participating countries in its decision to go ahead with its World Cup programme," South African Sports Minister, Ngconde Balfour, said in a statement on Monday.

His statement came in the wake of a recent campaign being waged by the British and Australian governments who are urging their cricket teams not to play their World Cup matches in Zimbabwe.

Balfour said the decision taken by the ICC (International Cricket Council) was based on a first-hand assessment of the conditions in Zimbabwe.

"As the continent is hosting this prestigious event for the first time in the history of the game, we remain steadfast in our support of the ICC, believing that the decision, of the controlling body is in the best interests of all stakeholders in the sport, including the four participating African countries." MORE

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