Zimbabwe refuses to rule out opposing Howard's ICC bid

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Sydney, Jun 25 (ANI): Zimbabwean cricket chief and an associate of President Robert Mugabe, Peter Chingoka, has refused to rule out opposing John Howard as the International Cricket Council's next vice-president after meeting the former Australian prime minister.

Howard was in the country to meet key figures of Zimbabwe Cricket to get Zimbabwe's support for his nomination as vice-president of the ICC.

Zimbabwe had earlier tried to convince fellow council members that Howard lacks appropriate support to bid for the vice-presidency of the ICC, as President Mugabe does not think fondly of the former premier after he ordered the Australian team not to tour the country in 2007.

"I don't have much to say, we had a friendly discussion, it was very constructive, we were very honest and frank with each other. The matter will be discussed by the ICC, so I don't think it's appropriate for me to say any more," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Chingoka, as saying.

Pressed on whether he could guarantee Zimbabwe would not attempt to block Howard's candidacy, Chingoka said: "I have already given you an answer, more than what I wanted to."

Howard said on Thursday it was his personal wish that Zimbabwe be rehabilitated as a Test nation following his meeting in Harare with the country's cricket heavyweights.

As Prime Minister, Howard played a leading role in Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth.

"My personal wish is to see Zimbabwe fully reintegrated into the world cricket family and see the sport continue to grow in all parts of the world, including Zimbabwe," Howard said. (ANI)

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