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Cricketers head home after Test farce

22/05/2004 06:15:45 AM Comments (0)

Some of Australia's cricketers are returning home after a week of frustration ended in the scrapping of the two Tests against Zimbabwe.

Simon Katich, Justin Langer and Cameron White are headed home because the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) offered to cancel the Tests amid the political turmoil that has engulfed the sport in this country.

Shane Warne left Harare soon after Friday's announcement to return to England, where he captains county side Hampshire.

For the rest of the Australian team, it's a case of putting the whites back in the suitcase and bringing out the coloured clothing earlier than expected.

Australia has agreed to play the three one-day matches before leaving.

The matches will be played at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday week.

While Cricket Australia and the ZCU agreed to cancel the two scheduled Tests to protect the integrity of the traditional game and avoid more of the thrashings Zimbabwe suffered at the hands of the Sri Lankans this month, the limited overs matches will still be one-sided.

The ZCU will sack the 15 white rebel players despite them making themselves available for selection earlier in the week.

The long-running dispute between the rebels and the ZCU looked to have ended earlier this week when the group said they were keen to play again, but not in the Tests as they were not physically and mentally prepared.

Despite that, five of the rebels - Heath Streak, Andy Blignaut, Ray Price and Trevor Gripper - were included in the Test squad but told the union they would not play.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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