Yorkshire chief executive Colin Graves has delivered a stinging attack on the Government for forcing the England and Wales Cricket Board to decide if the World Cup match in Zimbabwe goes ahead - despite heated opposition and protests.

Graves said that although his personal view was that England should not be playing in Zimbabwe, he fully understood why the ECB had stated on Monday that the game would go on.

"The ECB have been put in an unenviable position because this should have been a political decision and not a sporting one," he said.

"The Board just could not afford to pull out of the match and face a massive compensation claim which the Government are not prepared to meet.

"The whole thing has been very badly handled by the International Cricket Council and the Government.

"Both of them should have sorted the situation out six to 12 months ago instead of it now being left to the ECB to make a decision.

"The ECB should never have been put in this position and with the Government not being prepared to pay any compensation the Board had no realistic option but to go ahead with the game. From a cricket finance point of view they had no other choice."

Yorkshire will have three players in England's World Cup squad in Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard and Craig White, provided White proves he has fully recovered from the side strain which kept him out of the fifth and final Test in Australia. Apart from the Harare match, all of England's other games will be in South Africa.

Durham chairman Bill Midgley, who was personally opposed to the game being played, feels the question of the players' safety might still crop up again.

"I'm not certain this is the end of the debate," he said. "The question of safety might have to be looked at again, especially as the Mayor of Harare raised the issue at the weekend."

Durham have two players in the World Cup squad, Paul Collingwood and Stephen Harmison, and Midgley added: "We are delighted they have been selected, but we have to be concerned about their safety.

"The decision has been made and the players will take that as evidence of leadership. It would be wrong for pressure to be brought for the players to make individual decisions - it has to be a collective thing.

"The Australians could still reach a different decision, especially as any loss of finance will be met by their government.

"We don't want any accusations that England are going to Zimbabwe only for the money. That has to be denied very strongly."

Although all 18 first-class counties are represented on the ECB, Midgley was not present at Monday's meeting as the management board involves only two first-class chairmen.

"I certainly made my views known," said Midgley, adding that he wasn't happy that the management board had the final word. "I feel the decision should have been left to the International Cricket Council," he said.