SPORT

ECB to pay undisclosed compensation to Zimbabwe

London March 30. After Zimbabwe agreed on Saturday to tour England this summer, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), in a token of gesture and goodwill, has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum as compensation for its World Cup boycott of not playing Zimbabwe qualifier in Harare on February 13.

However, the ECB emphatically stated to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) that the compensation offered was purely a goodwill gesture and did not imply any liability.

The money to be paid, it was stated, will help to cover the expenses incurred towards catering and hotel costs, security, ticket sales and general administrative payments made, which still had to be met after England's boycott.

Still, the Zimbabwe fiasco does not end here as the ECB may face a more detailed claim from the ZCU, it was stated. It is understood that the issue is expected to cost the England and Wales Cricket Board in the region of almost �2 million.

Campbell calls it a day

Former Zimbabwe captain, Alistair Campbell has announced his retirement from international cricket after being ignored for the Sharjah Cup one-day tournament.

Campbell, the 30-year-old is the fourth player to turn back on Zimbabwe since the World Cup, the others being Andy Flower, Henry Olonga and Guy Whittall.

Campbell felt he was badly treated by the Zimbabwe board as he was surprisingly left out of its original World Cup squad but later drafted in to replace the injured Mark Vermeulen for the Super Six clash against Kenya. Despite the recall, he was again overlooked when the selectors named the team for the Sharjah Cup.

Speaking to the BBC Sport, Campbell said: "I made the decision to retire because the selectors gave me the impression that I was surplus to requirements for the England tour in May, '' and added, "I might be looking to ply my trade elsewhere.''

The left-handed batsman, Campbell made his debut for Zimbabwe at the age of 19 at the 1992 World Cup and took over the captaincy four years later. However, he stepped down in 1999 for "personal reasons'' but deputised for Heath Streak in the series against Pakistan and Kenya last year after Streak sustained a shoulder injury.

Campbell played 60 Tests, scoring 2,858 runs at an average of 27.21 and amassed over 5,000 runs in 188 one-day internationals, including seven centuries.

Andy Flower moves to England

Meanwhile, Andy Flower, whose protest along with Olonga against the "death of democracy'' in Zimbabwe stirred many hearts during the World Cup in South Africa, left his native country on Saturday to join his wife and three children to start a new life here in England.

He will pursue a career with Essex County Cricket Club and also with South Australia.

In England, Flower is guaranteed to have contracted to play for three years for Nasser Hussain's Essex County.

Flower, aged 34, retired as a Zimbabwe international after the team's World Cup exit.

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