|England match cancelled, Zimbabwe awarded points
JOHANNESBURG, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected Englands request to switch their World Cup match against Zimbabwe and awarded the points to the home team on Saturday.
The tournaments technical committee rejected Englands call to reschedule the Group A game from Harare to South Africa, ruling that the venue was safe despite the teams security concerns.
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said: "Its a decision that gives the committee no pleasure."
Saturdays decision should end months of wrangling involving politicians, administrators and players.
England, however, still have yet another right of appeal which could prolong a saga which has blighted the World Cup.
Nasser Hussains team have yet to play a game in the tournament, spending more time discussing whether to play in Zimbabwe than training.
Many of their opponents have already played twice.
The loss of the four points, from a game England expected to win, means the team face a huge task to reach the second round of the tournament.
This was Englands second attempt to have the game moved.
The same committee threw out Englands first request, a decision ratified by an ICC-appointed judge, last week in a supposedly binding decision.
The World Cup could yet see a match boycott.
New Zealand are refusing to play a Group B against Kenya in Nairobi scheduled for February 21, also because of security worries after a November bombing killed 16 people in Mombasa.
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