England set to honour tour
Michael Vaughan's England side look set to tour Zimbabwe this autumn despite numerous reservations.
09:56 20 April 2004
Michael Vaughan's England side look set to tour Zimbabwe this autumn despite reservations about the morality and safety of the trip.
The situation has remained unclear for some time, but England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman David Morgan believes things will go ahead as planned, unless the government intervene.
Morgan told the BBC that he and other ECB members will meet government officials, including Home Secretary Jack Straw, in May, but that he did not expect the government to order a boycott.
And that leaves the ECB with little option but to travel, as long as the security situation remains stable.
"I think it's fairly certain England will have to honour the commitment so long as it's safe and secure for the tour to go ahead, and provided that the UK government don't direct us otherwise," Morgan confirmed.
"Australia are due to go in a matter of weeks and they assess the safety and security situation in the normal way for cricket tours.
"They sent a delegation to Zimbabwe and we intend to do the same thing."
The board have come under strong pressure from a number of sources - including the government - to refuse to tour while current president Robert Mugabe remains in charge.
But they would be set to lose out financially if they fail to honour their commitments, with only a direct governmental prohibition giving them an acceptable way out.