Zimbabwe’s participation in the upcoming World T20 qualifiers is in doubt after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended their membership.
At an ICC board meeting in London, the sport’s governing body ruled that Zimbabwe Cricket had failed to ensure its board was free from government interference.
As a consequence, Zimbabwe’s ICC funding has been suspended and their representative teams are banned from participating in ICC events.
Zimbabwe, who failed to qualify for this year’s Cricket World Cup, are due to compete in the men’s World T20 preliminaries in the autumn, and the women’s qualifers in August. The ICC’s announcement has thrown their participation in both events into doubt.
The ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: “We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference.
“What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked,” Manohar added. “The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC constitution.”
An official statement from the ICC has urged “that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months”, with the matter to be considered again at a board meeting in October.
“The ICC board heard from both the sports and recreation committee representatives of the Zimbabwe government, and Zimbabwe Cricket before making their decision,” the statement added.
At the same meeting, the ICC also approved the introduction of concussion replacements, effective from the first men’s Ashes Test, and a new way of fining players for slow over-rates, with fines now spread across a team and captains no longer at the mercy of suspensions.