LONDON (AFP) - International cricket chiefs on Thursday (July 18) suspended Zimbabwe over a failure to keep the sport free from government interference, putting in doubt their participation in qualifiers for the World T20.
The decision means ICC funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will be frozen and representative teams from the country will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events.
"The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again at the October board meeting," the ICC said in a statement.
"The ICC board heard from both the Sports and Recreation Committee representatives of the Zimbabwe government and Zimbabwe Cricket before making their decision."
"We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly but we must keep our sport free from political interference," said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.
"What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked.
"The ICC wants cricket to continue in Zimbabwe in accordance with the ICC constitution."
The move puts Zimbabwe's participation in October's men's T20 World Cup Qualifier in jeopardy.
The Croatia Cricket Federation and the Zambia Cricket Union have both also been suspended for continuing non-compliance with ICC membership criteria while the Moroccan Royal Cricket Federation has been expelled over continuing non-compliance.
At the same meeting, the ICC also approved the introduction of concussion replacements, effective from the first Ashes Test, and a new way of fining players for slow over-rates, with captains no longer at the mercy of suspensions and fines instead being spread across a team.