Harare - Zimbabwe were withdrawn from Test cricket for this year by the sport's government-appointed interim committee on Wednesday.

"The decision to suspend its participation in Test matches was reached by ZC after consideration of the recent performances by the national and A teams," Zimbabwe Cricket said in a statement issued after a meeting.

Zimbabwe was scheduled to travel to West Indies in April for two Tests and five one-day Internationals, but ZC said it will ask the West Indies Cricket Board if its team can play only the limited-overs series.

But only last week, ZC chairperson Peter Chingoka assured WICB representative Tony Marshall that it would undertake a full tour, at a meeting of the International Cricket Council in Pakistan.

Zimbabwe also withdrew from Tests in 2004 after Heath Streak was sacked as captain by Chingoka for speaking out against selection policies, and 12 senior white players made themselves unavailable for selection.

Thirty-seven of the country's remaining leading players are refusing to play for Zimbabwe while Chingoka remained in charge, over claims of mismanagement and corruption.

But Chingoka remained firmly at the helm of cricket in Zimbabwe after Wednesday's meeting, as he was confirmed as Zimbabwe's member of the ICC executive board.

The meeting was expected to appoint a new captain to replace Tatenda Taibu, who resigned three months ago after threats and moved to Bangladesh. But ZC deferred naming a captain and vice captain until it resolved a long-standing dispute with 37 of the country's remaining leading players.

"It will be considered at the next board meeting which is in February," the statement said.

Opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza and allrounder Andy Blignaut were considered the favourite choices, according to the government-controlled Harare Herald.

The national coach, manager and only paid selector also were in jeopardy of losing their jobs, according to a leaked agenda for the first formal meeting of the ZC interim committee.

Those whose positions were under review were former West Indies allrounder Phil Simmons, appointed national coach in 2004 but arbitrarily replaced by Kevin Curran in September 2005; manager Mohammed Meman, who has been in the post several years; and Richie Kaschula, one of three national selectors.

The Herald stated that Meman would not be retained, but no source was named.

Kaschula said he did not expect to be kept on, and there was an attempt to have Simmons deported - a move defeated after three High Court applications.

One of the two other selectors, Ethan Dube, said: "They have asked me to continue as a selector, but I have declined." The chairperson of selectors, Macsood Ebrahim, was not available for comment. The three have done the job for the past two years.

Although the committee referred to Curran as national coach, all the leading players have stated they will not work with him, only Simmons.

Curran was appointed the coach, Andy Pycroft was appointed as Zimbabwe A coach, and Walter Chawaguta put in charge of the Zimbabwe Under-19 side.

The board decided team managers be appointed only on a tour-by tour-basis.

For the national selection panel, the board appointed former first-class cricketer Bruce Makovah as the convener of a panel with Curran and Zimbabwe Cricket Academy manager Kudzai Shoko. - Sapa-AP