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Australia will not be fined: ICC
14 May 2007
By: Zac Gelman

Cricket Australia will not be handed out a multi-million dollar fine for not touring Zimbabwe later this year, according to the ICC.

The news comes as the Australian Government banned the Australian cricket team from touring Zimbabwe yesterday.

A country that does not comply with the Future Tours Programme Agreement can face million dollar fines from the ICC, however since government intervention was the cause for the tour being cancelled, Australia won't be fined according to ICC chief Malcolm Speed.

"A government has prohibited their team from going. That's the clarity we've been seeking," said Speed.

"It is not the role of the ICC to make political judgments. That is for politicians; the ICC is a sporting organization and our role is to ensure that the game of cricket is played wherever possible.

"Our policy has been consistent since 2004 as, under the terms of the Future Tours Programme Agreement, if the government of one of the Members refuses 'to grant a consent, exemption, approval or clearance or imposes any restriction or prohibition' on its team to tour another country, these circumstances constitute acceptable non-compliance.

"In this instance it appears the Australian Government has acted in this way."

The decision by the Australian Government to ban the tour appears to have the support of the Australian players with reports that should the tour not have been averted, many of the senior players would not have toured anyways.

"I was seriously considering my position this time, as to whether I would go if the tour went ahead," batsman Matthew Hayden said.

"I considered not going last time, but went in the end. This time I was considering it a lot more heavily. I think this time it could have been a case of once bitten, twice shy.

"While I felt our safety was compromised a bit I just felt compromised in general. The whole tour became a farce."

Organisers are now looking at a neutral venue to stage the three match ODI series.

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