THE British government wants to see a copy of the audit report of Zimbabwe Cricketâ€™s finances before deciding whether to grant or not Peter Chingoka a visa to attend the International Cricket Council (ICC)â€™s annual meeting in London.
A report by accounting firm KPMG, hired to investigate allegations of financial impropriety and corruption against Zimbabwe Cricket, is set to be presented to the ICC executive board in Dubai next week.
Prime Minister Gordon Brownâ€™s government wants a copy of the KPMG report to decide whether Chingoka would be allowed or not into Britain for the ICC annual meeting at Lordâ€™s later this year.
Chingoka was last year denied a British visa and failed to testify at a tribunal hearing of Australian umpire Darryl Hairâ€™s racism case.
The British government wants Zimbabwe banned from touring England for two Tests and three ODIs next year as a way to protest against President Robert Mugabe.
Last week Brownâ€™s spokesman confirmed the tour ban plans, but denied Britain was considering blanket sanctions on Zimbabwean sportspersons.
But the British fear banning Zimbabwe might result in the ICC moving the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 tournament from England to another country.
The ICC annual general meeting might also be moved to another country if Chingoka, a senior board member of the international association, is not granted a visa of entry into Britain.
The ICC has already demanded a guarantee that Chingoka would not be barred from entering England, resulting in the British government setting another condition.
It could not be established yesterday if the ICC would give in to the British demands.
The KPMG audit was ordered after serious allegations were made that Zimbabwe Cricket could have manipulated its accounts to cover up for alleged financial misappropriation.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will for the first time not participate in the ICC Champions Trophy because they fall outside the top eight in the world one-day international rankings.
The ICC yesterday confirmed the groups for this yearâ€™s edition of the ICC Champions Trophy, scheduled for September in Pakistan.
The ICC decided that the 2008 event would feature the eight top teams â€” instead of 10 â€” as per the LG ICC ODI Championship table exactly six months prior to the scheduled start of the tournament.
Zimbabwe are ranked number 11, meaning along with Bangladesh (nine), Ireland (10) and Kenya (12) they were ruled out of this yearâ€™s ICC Champions Trophy.
Defending champions and top seeds Australia, India, Pakistan and the West Indies are in Group A,, while South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England make up Group B. â€” Staff Writer.