Hussain ponders future after Zimbabwe debacle

EAST LONDON, South Africa, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Nasser Hussain is to consider his position as England captain at the end of the World Cup after losing faith in cricket’s governing bodies.

Hussain, speaking hours after the World Cup technical committee’s decision to award his side’s Group A match in Zimbabwe to the hosts, said he did not think the International Cricket Council (ICC) had taken England’s security concerns seriously enough. “It makes me think more about my long-term future as captain after the tournament,” Hussain told a news conference on Saturday.

Hussain was particularly angry that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had apologised to ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed on his behalf after the two men had a frank exchange of views last week.

“I have absolutely nothing to apologise for, at no stage did I swear or be rude,” Hussain said. “I just let them know that they had let us down, they should have seen it coming six months ago and seen it snowballing.”

Hussain said he had lost his trust in authorities in general, adding that the Zimbabwe issue had left him feeling low.

“It’s the players and the cricket that is keeping me going,” he said. “If I started thinking about the authorities and the way they have behaved, I would be going around in circles.”

“I believe that this group of cricketers given the wranglings between Britain and Zimbabwe have been let down by the ICC and therefore I feel I have no need to apologise.”


The decision, which England have said they will not appeal against, ended weeks of wrangling over the fixture in Harare, which Hussain’s team were unwilling to fulfil because of safety concerns about playing in the strife-torn country.

The 34-year-old Hussain repeatedly said during the recent Ashes series in Australia that he would consider his future as England captain with coach Duncan Fletcher after the World Cup.

But the Zimbabwe episode may increase the pressure on him to stand down after nearly four years in charge since Alec Stewart left the job after the 1999 World Cup.

England will finally get their World Cup campaign underway on Sunday when they take on the Netherlands in East London, but without any points from the Zimbabwe game they face an uphill struggle to progress in the tournament. World champions Australia, 1999 runners-up Pakistan, India and Namibia are the other teams in the group.

The team are very disappointed,” Hussain said. “It’s not the start we wanted in the tournament. There are issues at stake much bigger than four points, but to a group of cricketers sat in their rooms they will all be very disappointed that a major tournament they have prepared a long time for has begun like this.

“I have seen a group of players whose World Cup dream had been shattered by politics but should have been seen six months ago by people at the ICC. The authorities have fudged the issue.”

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