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Facing Suspension, Zimbabwe Cricket Withdraws From 2009 Tourney

Zimbabwe has withdrawn from the World Cup Twenty20 tournament to be held in England in 2009 under pressure from other members of the International Cricket Council board, which concluded a two-day meeting in Dubai on Friday.

Zimbabwe faced possible suspension amid international outrage at the re-election of President Robert Mugabe in a one-man run-off ballot on June 27, as well as the political violence that has swept the country since a first round of elections March 29, but compromised by withdrawing from the tourney. In London, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcomed the decision.

British parliamentarian and former sports minister Kate Hoey echoed his sentiments, telling reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that this development in the ICC will send a message to the Mugabe government on human rights.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe....