1 Feb 2009

Zimbabwe remains out of Test cricket

8:50 am on 1 February 2009

The International Cricket Council (ICC) says Zimbabwe's return to Test cricket could be at least six months to two years away.

A team headed by West Indies Cricket Board president Julian Hunte presented an interim report to the ICC's board in Perth Australia on Saturday following a visit to Zimbabwe by Hunte and ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat in November.

Zimbabwe has not played Test cricket since 2006.

In August, Zimbabwe withdrew from this year's World Twenty20 tournament in England.

Zimbabwe was replaced by Scotland for the tournament in June.

The African country pulled out because the British government would not grant visas in protest of Robert Mugabe claiming victory in a widely discredited presidential election last year. The England and Wales Cricket Board has also cut ties with Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka was replaced at the Perth meetings by Wilfred Mukondiwa, who was listed in an ICC release on the meetings as an alternate for Chingoka.

Chingoka, a supporter of Mugabe, was banned from visiting Australia by the federal government as part of sanctions against the Mugabe regime.