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New Zealand Ban Looms for Zimbabwe Cricket Squad

Zimbabwe’s national cricket team could be banned from touring New Zealand in December, following a statement from Wellington expressing concern about the human rights implications of Operation Murambatsvina. New Zealand’s Black Caps said, however, that they intended to go ahead with a five-week tour of Zimbabwe in August, including two tests and some one-day matches.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff condemned the Zimbabwe government, but Wellington has taken no steps to prohibit the national team from fulfilling its agreement to tour Zimbabwe in August.

New Zealand cricket chief Martin Snedden said his team would only cancel the August tour if there were genuine player-safety concerns. But an independent security report issued this week did not identify such security threats.

Sports commentator Steven Maxwell told reporter Marvellous Nyahuiye of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that international cricket should isolate Zimbabwe.