The International Cricket Council has suspended Zimbabwe with immediate effect for breach of its constitution, the governing body informed on Thursday.
During the annual conference meeting in London, the ICC decided that Zimbabwe had “failed to fulfil their obligation to provide a process for free and democratic elections and to ensure that there is no government interference in its administration for cricket”.
As a consequence of suspension, ICC funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will be frozen and representative teams from Zimbabwe will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events, which throws serious doubts over the team’s participation in the qualifiers for the T20 World Cup next year.
The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again at the October Board meeting.
“We do not take the decision to suspend a Member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,” said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar. “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.”
The Croatia Cricket Federation and the Zambia Cricket Union have both also been suspended for continuing non-compliance with ICC Membership criteria, according to a statement released on Thursday.