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Former Zimbabwe Cricket Captain Urges International Support for Test Return

Former Zimbabwe Cricket captain Alistair Campbell said health concerns are not warranted, but added that if necessary the series of one-day internationals with New Zealand should be move to a mutually acceptable venue

Former Zimbabwe Cricket captain Alistair Campbell, currently chairman of selectors for the national team, has urged the international cricket community to stop shunning Zimbabwe so it can return to test play within two years.

Campbell came out with the statement following reports that the New Zealand cricket team might decline to visit Zimbabwe due to health concerns. Zimbabwe experienced a major cholera epidemic in 2008-2009 and a small number of fresh cases of the communicable disease have been reported this year.

The Zimbabwe Cricket board named Campbell chairman of selectors in July 2009. He replaced Kenyon Ziehl, another former team member.

Campbell told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye that there is no need for visiting teams to concerned about their health as conditions have much improved since a unity government was installed in February 2009.

He said the only way the country could return to its former glory was through increased international exposure with major cricket-playing nations.

Zimbabwe was due to play a series of one-day internationals with New Zealand in June. The tour was originally scheduled in July of last year but was put off after New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive Justin Vaughan and the head of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association raised health concerns.

Campbell said that while the the health fears were unfounded, if necessary the series of one-day internationals should be held in a neutral venue to allow the Zimbabwean cricket team to continue its rebuilding process.