26 January 2009

ICC executive refuses to apply for Australian visa without guarantee of approval

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to go ahead with its conference in Perth, despite concerns that the chief of Zimbabwe cricket Peter Chingoka would not be able to make it, reports Cricinfo.

The ICC usually ensures every member of the board can attend the conferences before proceeding with them; however, this time they are going to continue with their plans despite the outcome of Chingoka's Australian visa application.

The Australian immigration department has constructed a list of 254 Zimbabweans who are barred from obtaining an Australian visa because of their involvement with Robert Mugabe's regime, and the government has included Chingoka on this list. 

According to the news report, Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith said Chingoka had not yet applied for a temporary visa for Australia, as Chingoka would not submit an Australian visa application until he was guaranteed approval.

 The ICC president David Morgan has put pressure on the Australian authorities to waiver the travel sanctions so he could attend the meeting, and despite pressure from fellow board members to apply for a visa, Chingoka has not yet applied for an Australian visa.

The UK immigration authorities also put travel restrictions on Chingoka, causing the ICC meeting at Lord's to be reconvened in Dubai last year so that Chingoka could attend.

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