The England cricket team went to the polls today in a referendum to decide on their future as a dependency of the United Kingdom and head off a challenge for control over their future from South Africa.
Diplomatic tensions have been raised in recent months with South Africa's claim on the team growing, but the UK Government tried to cut the row off by allowing members of the team to decide for themselves where their futures lay.
South Africa has claimed the team since the early-'80s when, with their own national team in internatinal exile, a number of players instead turned out for England. That tradition has continued long after the reintroduction of the Proteas to the world game. The Pretoria government recently issued a statement claiming the England team as their own and further asserted their position in a series of adverts in British newspapers. "The ethnic make-up of the England team is now established at over 50% South African", runs the official statement, "hence we feel the British government should be open to talks on a transfer of sovereignty and we will be making representations to the UN in this regard".
The position set down by Westminster is that it is the team that will decide whether there will be any negotiations with Pretoria. The vote is widely expected to back remaining part of the UK.