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ICC task force in Zimbabwe to assess situation

November 19, 2008 10:22 IST

An International Cricket Council (ICC) task force is touring Zimbabwe to assess how to help the troubled southern African team return to the Test fold after nearly three years in the wilderness.

A three-member team led by West Indies board president Julian Hunte will submit its report to an ICC board meeting in January.

"The team will seek to establish the current state of cricket in Zimbabwe as it relates to the management and development of the game and also to conduct an assessment of the policies and programmes executed to date with the view to restoring the senior team to Test cricket," an ICC release said on Wednesday.

"It is carrying out a detailed inspection of the cricket administration, facilities, resources and capabilities in Zimbabwe, including all areas contained in the Full Member guidelines," the statement continued.

The task force, also including ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Sri Lankan board chief Arjuna Ranatunga, will end its three-day trip later on Wednesday.

The panel was appointed in July when Zimbabwe agreed to skip next year's World Twenty20 in England to end a deadlock over demands for its suspension from international cricket because of Robert Mugabe's government.

The England and Wales Board had cancelled Zimbabwe's 2009 tour of England and severed bilateral cricketing ties in June, under instructions from its government, a former colonial power in Zimbabwe.

The African nation's cricket has lurched from one crisis to another in the last few years, on and off the pitch.

The national team has not played Test cricket since Jan. 2006 following a series of confrontations between senior players and the administration that left the side depleted.

That decision came after the Zimbabwe government assumed control of the running of the game and appointed an interim board that decided to pull the team out of Tests.

In March, an independent audit found serious irregularities in the Zimbabwe board accounts. The ICC did not call for any sanction after deciding there was no evidence of criminality and no individuals had gained financially.

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