ICC World Twenty20 2009 - Minus Zimbabwe?

Posted by brmtaylor.com admin on January 03, 2008

British prime minister Gordon Brown has taken a tough stance on Zimbabwe and the Mugabe regime, and it appears the sanctions will also spread to the cricket field. It is becoming increasingly likely that the British government will ban the Zimbabwe team from entering the UK in 2009, a move which would see the ECB avoid fines from the ICC.

Zimbabwe are scheduled to play 2 Tests and 3 ODI's against England in 2009, as well as taking part in the highly anticipated ICC World Twenty20. A government ban would see Zimbabwe unable to take part in either tournament.

Should the Zimbabwe vs England series be cancelled, well, nobody would be surprised. Particularly after the Australian government banned their cricketers from playing a 3 ODI series against Zimbabwe. But if Zimbabwe were to be barred from participating in the ICC World Twenty20, an official ICC tournament, then we could see fireworks between a whole range of players - the ICC, the Zimbabwean government, the British government, Zimbabwe Cricket and the ECB.

In the last edition of the ICC World Twenty20, Zimbabwe defeated Australia and were on top of England for three quarters of the game.

If the ban is enforced and Zimbabwe are unable to enter England, it is theoretically possible that their Twenty20 group matches could be played at a neutral venue, such as Amsterdam. But after Zimbabwe's good Twenty20 performances, it will be a logistical nightmare for the ICC if Zimbabwe were to progress past the first round.

It will be a very interesting year after this announcement, and only an MDC election win could alleviate the situation one would think.