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Zimbabwe’s top cricket administrators have been included in an expanded list of officials of President Robert Mugabe’s regime targeted by Australian sanctions, a report said Saturday.

The president of Zimbabwe Cricket, Peter Chingoka, and chief executive Ozias Bvute, have been banned from visiting Australia or having any financial dealings with the country, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Chingoka is a full voting member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) executive board and the visa ban may force the ICC to change its plans to hold an executive board meeting in Perth next year, it said.

Australia announced earlier this month that it had added 75 individuals and four companies to a list of Mugabe regime members and supporters facing sanctions, but details were only made public this week. The additions bring the total number of individuals on the list to 254 as Australia presses Mugabe to stand down, accusing his regime of brutal human rights offences. Zimbabwe has been in political limbo since elections in March and the failure to implement a power-sharing deal signed on September 15, while the economy reels under inflation last estimated at 231 million percent.

Efforts by some countries to have Zimbabwe suspended from world cricket earlier this year failed, but a compromise was reached that saw the southern African nation pull out of next year’s World Twenty20 in England. That move came after the British government had made it clear it would not issue visas to Zimbabwean cricketers, effectively cancelling their scheduled tour of England in 2009. While some member countries within the ICC say that politics should be kept out of cricket, others argue that Chingoka and Bvute have close links with Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party. afp
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