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Mandela Backs ICC Decision On World Cup Cricket Matches - 2003-02-06

Former South African President Nelson Mandela says the cricket teams from England and New Zealand should play their respective World Cup matches in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Mr. Mandela spoke at his home in Johannesburg Wednesday, three days before the opening ceremonies for the Cricket World Cup in Cape Town. He said the players should follow the International Cricket Council's instructions, and play their matches as originally scheduled. He said to ignore the ICC would "introduce chaos in cricket."

England has asked the ICC to switch its February 13th match from Harare to South Africa. New Zealand's team does not want to play its February 21st match in Nairobi because of security concerns.

Meanwhile, Australia's cricketers have decided to play their match in Bulawayo, but could ask that the game be moved, if the security situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates. The first match in the 44-day Cricket World Cup is scheduled for Sunday.