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Kenya And Zimbabwe World Cup Cricket Matches Will Be Held As Scheduled - 2003-01-31

The International Cricket Council has decided that next month's World Cup matches in Zimbabwe and Kenya will go ahead as scheduled despite security concerns.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed announced the decision Thursday after a teleconference with the Council's executive board. Speed said the ICC had consulted with diplomats, officials, and security experts before reaching its decision.

Australia and England have come under pressure from their respective governments to boycott matches in Zimbabwe in protest against President Robert Mugabe's human rights record and controversial land reform program.

New Zealand was concerned for its cricketers' safety after three suicide bombers killed themselves, 10 Kenyans and three Israelis at a luxury hotel in Mombassa.

Pakistan, India, England, Australia, Namibia, and the Netherlands are scheduled to play matches in Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka and New Zealand are scheduled to play in Kenya. The remaining 46 matches of the tournament are scheduled for South Africa.