New Zealand may renew cricket ties with Zimbabwe following Sports Minister’s plea

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WELLINGTON/CHRISTCHURCH - New Zealand Cricket is seriously considering a proposal to renew cricketing ties with Zimbabwe following an appeal to this effect from Zimbabwean Sports Minister David Coltart.

Coltart met his New Zealand counterpart, Murray McCully, in Wellington yesterday.

According to the New Zealand Herald, afterwards he expressed optimism about cricketing links being restored, but the final decision rested with New Zealand Cricket.

Coltart is due to meet New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan in Christchurch today.

“The minister said that he understood and agreed with my reasons for wanting the team to tour, but he stressed the Government does not interfere with the decisions taken by New Zealand Cricket. So ultimately, it will be their decision to make. He personally would be supportive of it,” Coltart said.

A spokesman for McCully said the minister had had “a couple of good meetings with David Coltart, but it’s a decision for New Zealand Cricket to make”.

The Black Caps had been scheduled to tour Zimbabwe this month, but the tour, already delayed once, was postponed again earlier this year because of “security concerns”.

Mr Coltart, an opposition member of Zimbabwe’s “transitional inclusive government”, said there were no security problems for visiting sportspeople.

He said Zimbabwe had a lower crime rate than most other African nations, including South Africa, and had recently hosted the Sri Lankan and Indian cricket teams as well as the Brazilian football side for a warmup match before the World Cup.

Cricketing tours by New Zealand and Australian teams would strengthen moves towards democracy in Zimbabwe, he said. (ANI)

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