Waugh suggests Zimbabwe option

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh believes Zimbabwe's status in cricket has dipped so low that it should no longer be classified as an international side.

He suggests Zimbabwe should be looking toward inclusion in a African team modeled on the West Indies conglomeration where it would combine with Kenya, Namibia and Uganda in a team that one day could be competition.

"I don't see what it can't happen. They do it for the West Indies (with a number of different countries), why not for the rest of Africa," he told The Australian.

Waugh regarded Kenya as an 'untapped resource' while there were not many cricketers in Zimbabwe at the moment.

By comparison, Bangladesh was a team that with more intensive coaching and a better infrastructure could improve.

The loss of Tatenda Taibu had highlighted the problems facing Zimbabwe.

"Someone has got to step in and make that situation better somehow because they're losing all the players."

"They've just lost their young captain, who has put his heart and soul into it. There has got to be something seriously wrong if he's walking away. That's a real concern."

"Zimbabwe, for as long as I've played the game, have been a good side but over the last couple of years they've dropped off."

However, it is unlikely that any further consideration, if any, of the state of Zimbabwe cricket, parlous as it may be, will occur before the scheduled March meeting of the ICC board.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said in a recent press release: "I am extremely saddened for the cricketers and people of Zimbabwe. This issue will come up next when Zimbabwe are to play Test or international cricket. I am sure the board will discuss the matter at its next meeting."

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