New Delhi, Jun 28 (UNI) While Zimbabwe's full membership remains a top priority issue for the ICC's annual meeting in Dubai next week, the BCCI has thrown its weight behind the African nation and said it ''would like to fully support Zimbabwe Cricket.'' The BCCI secretary, Niranjan Shah, however, said the final call be taken by the Indian government and the board will strictly abide by its guidelines on specific cricket tours and interactions with Zimbabwe.
''We are very clear that we would like to fully support Zimbabwe on the issue of full membership of the ICC,'' Shah told a private website.
''We are aware that some member boards want Zimbabwe's membership taken away, but we are with Zimbabwe on this. However, we also understand the positions taken by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) as they were prompted by the advice of the governments in those countries.
''We do not blame them as they are bound by what their governments decide. But our position is very clear on the issue of full membership and we would like to totally support Zimbabwe on that,'' Shah added.
Shah, who will also be attending the Dubai conference, informed that the government has not directed the board till now on the Zimbabwe issue.
''We will go by our government's guidelines, which will be applicable to specific tours and interactions with Zimbabwe, but nothing has come so far,'' he said.
A two-thirds majority vote within the ICC board - seven out of 10 votes - is needed for any resolution to be moved on Zimbabwe but now that the BCCI has officially announced its stand, it would be difficult for the ICC to decide any stringent action against Zimbabwe next week.
While the ECB and CSA have closed their doors for Zimbabwe, the BCCI would expect support from its traditional vote bank of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to prevent any such move.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief executive Duleep Mendis said his board has not a taken a decision on the issue yet.
UNI RAR PDT RK1650