Justin Vaughan, New Zealand Cricket's chief executive, has sought clarification of his country's stance on touring Zimbabwe ahead of a scheduled visit later this year.
New Zealand are to play three one-day internationals in the troubled country in July and Vaughan said he would seek a meeting with Murray McCully, the minister of foreign affairs, and sport and recreation, within the next month.
"We're still assessing the situation and obviously there are numerous threads there," Vaughan said in Sydney. "We'll be looking to understand the government's position first and foremost, also the ICC task force are reporting back on Zimbabwe to the ICC conference [in June]. There's a lot of information we need to get before we can make a decision on that."
During the ICC board meeting in Perth last week, an ICC-appointed task team presented an interim report on the state of the game in Zimbabwe, who voluntarily stepped away from Tests in 2006. The team was headed by Julian Hunte, the president of the West Indies board, and included ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
Vaughan expected to receive an update on the ICC task force appointed to assess the current situation of cricket in Zimbabwe, at the chief executives' conference in Johannesburg on February 24 and 25.
Lorgat said he expected New Zealand to tour for the good of the game in Zimbabwe. "I would hope so because whatever exposure those players can get to good competition would certainly enhance their development," he told NZPA
. "If [NZC] didn't, we'd have to apply the principles that we've established."
New Zealand's last trip to Zimbabwe was in 2005, for two Tests and a one-day tri-series also featuring India, which they won. The prime minister at the time, Helen Clark, had strongly urged the team not to tour, and Vaughan remained unsure of what the present government's standpoint would be. "That [a government ban] would certainly take any decision away from me," he said.
In 2007, former Australian prime minister John Howard had ordered Australia not to tour Zimbabwe
. The ICC described Howard's decision as 'unfortunate'.