English cricket may not be covered if it has to pay compensation for the England team's withdrawl from its World Cup match in Zimbabwe next month.

World cricket's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), has warned that if the game were cancelled any loss of broadcasting fees would be passed on to the English Cricket Board (ECB).

The ICC said that the Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), which has paid the ICC £400m for the rights to ICC events, would demand a part-refund if the game were cancelled.

Sports lawyer Tim Kevan suggested the ECB could end up footing the bill. He told Insurance Times that the ECB's indemnity policy might not cover event cancellations due to "political reasons".

He added that any claim by the ICC would have to be based on a perceived breach of contract.

"If the game were called off, the GCC would probably sue the ICC to recoup the fee it initially paid for the world cup fixtures.

"The ICC would then look to seek indemnity from the ECB," he said.