MP challenges ECB Zimbabwe decision

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) could face a legal challenge over its decision to proceed with the controversial Zimbabwe tour, which is due to start later this month.

On Friday 2 May, a letter was sent by Taylor Wessing partner Jonathan Hayden-Williams on behalf of MP Derek Wyatt to ECB chief executive Tim Lamb, calling for information on a number of key issues relating to the tour.

Wyatt and Hayden-Williams plan to make a judicial review application once a response has been received.

The letter calls into question a number of decisions that have been made by the ECB, and whether they are in keeping with the board’s own constitution, any breach of which would make the basis for a legal challenge.

The key points raised question the board’s alleged decision to turn down another team, thought to be Kenya, in favour of Zimbabwe.

They also questioned the nature of the reported ‘sweetheart deal’, which would see the English team play in Zimbabwe next year, as well as financial issues relating to the deal.

The ECB’s decision to play a team that may have been selected in relation to political affiliation was also raised. (The two Zimbabwe players who wore armbands at the last tour have been omitted from the country’s most recent team.)

The ECB was unavailable for comment as The Lawyer went to press.