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ZIMBABWE'S ambassador has told the Howard Government to stop trying to ban a tour by the Australian cricket team of the troubled African nation.

Stephen Chiketa says politics has no place in sport and cancelling the tour would only hurt Zimbabwean children.
"You have young players in Zimbabwe who want to emulate great cricket players in Australia," Mr Chiketa told the Seven Network. "Take your politics somewhere else."

The federal Government is looking for legal ways to stop the September tour without incurring a fine from the International Cricket Council.

The ICC could fine Cricket Australia up to $US2million ($2.4million) if the tour is scrapped, with the money to be passed to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union. But, if the Government can find a legal way to order the tour's cancellation, no fine would be payable.

John Howard said he did not like the idea of banning the cricketers from going, but action had to be taken against Zimbabwe.

"I am jammed between my distaste for the Government getting involved in something like this and my even greater distaste for giving a propaganda victory to Robert Mugabe," he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

"If there is a way legitimately that the tour can be cancelled ... then we'll go down that path."
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