The International Cricket Council (ICC) have suspended the Zimbabwe Cricket Team indefinitely following an ICC conference in London.
The ICC board concluded that the nation had failed to prevent government interference in its cricket administration.
Additionally, the ICC ruled that Zimbabwe had failed to provide a process of free and democratic elections.
The decision means that the Zimbabwe team will no longer receive ICC funding and are suspended from playing in any ICC competitions.
It spells bad news for Zimbabwe fans whose team’s participation at October’s T20 World Cup qualifier looks to be in serious doubt.
Shashank Manohar, chairman of the ICC, suggests that whilst the decision was not taken lightly it was one they had to make.
“We do not take the decision to suspend a Member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,” Manohar said.
“What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC Constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked. The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC Constitution.”
Following the decision Zimbabwean cricketer Solomon Mire announced his retirement from international cricket.
Mire, 29, featured in all three formats for Zimbabwe with the batting all-rounder playing 47 ODIs for his nation.
The 29-year-old said it was unfortunate for him to retire under the current circumstances expressing how privileged he felt to represent Zimbabwe Cricket.
“Representing my country at the highest level for me has been the highest honour and service I could ever give and I have been extremely privileged to have been afforded the opportunity.
“My short career has been a roller coaster of highs and lows, stops and starts, frustrations and joys but will be one I shall look upon and cherish for the once in a lifetime opportunity I was lucky enough to experience and for that I would like to express my gratitude.”
Meanwhile, Sikandar Raza has also appeared to announce his international retirement after saying ICC’s suspension was “certainly not how I wanted to say goodbye to international cricket.”
With Zimbabwe not being part of the ICC Test Championship it remains to be seen whether countries will play them in bilateral series following the nation’s suspension. Zimbabwe are scheduled to face Afghanistan and the West Indies later this year.
Other decisions made during the ICC conference include concussion replacements being allowed and captains no longer being suspended for slow over-rates.
Concussion replacements will be allowed in international cricket from August 1. This means the First Test of the Ashes will allow a concussed player to be substituted with a like-for-like player with the approval of the match referee.
Meanwhile, points deductions in the Test Championship will replace the suspension of captains as a punishment for slow over-rates.
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