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Zimbabwe's fate lies with India and Mali

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Mihir Bose | 18:22 UK time, Friday, 27 June 2008

Zimbabwe cricket chief Peter Chingoka has written to all members of the International Cricket Council, branding any attempt to oust the country from the world game as a political act and not based on any cricketing issues.

I understand Chingoka has pointed out there are no moves to exclude Zimbabwe from other international sports bodies.

Zimbabwe will take part in the Beijing Olympics and it remains a full member of football governing body Fifa, having recently played a World Cup qualifier against Kenya.

Chingoka has also said that Zimbabwe cricket cannot be held responsible for what is happening on the political scene, and while he agrees the cricket authorities did take action against apartheid South Africa, he said that was on the basis of United Nations resolutions.

Chingoka's grievances came in response to an earlier letter from ICC president Ray Mali explaining why he wants Zimbabwe to be discussed at next week's ICC meeting in Dubai.

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I understand Mali explained the political situation in Zimbabwe was critical and that he felt it was necessary to discuss the African country at the ICC meeting - he wrote the letter after deciding to put Zimbabwe on the agenda.

The Mali letter does not call for Zimbabwe to be thrown out but this is certainly an option some ICC members would want to consider and, if necessary, adopt.

However India, the key player in the ICC, seems not inclined to take that view.

Key India cricket board officials are due to meet to discuss the Zimbabwe situation when they arrive in Dubai just before the ICC meeting.

Senior Indian sources have told me that this is an important issue where a decision would not be taken by one man and that there would have to be a consensus across their national board.

However, I understand that the Chingoka letter has made an impression on many top members of the board.

One well placed source told me: "If the reason being given for suspending Zimbabwe or throwing them out of the ICC is that the political situation has changed then that makes no sense. What can the cricket board do about that?

"Suppose President Musharraf of Pakistan was to suddenly suspend the constitution and take over the country, would we throw Pakistan out of the ICC? After all he is the patron of Pakistan cricket."

He also told me that the logic of the letter from Mali was "not impressive" and that he feels what Chingoka has said made a lot of sense.

He said any decision taken by the Indian board must be based on cricketing grounds: "It seems the call to throw out Zimbabwe is motivated by the British government in order to help the England and Wales Cricket Board host the ICC World Twenty20 in England next year while keeping Zimbabwe out. That is not a logical argument."

If this turns out to be the Indian board view, then given the weight India carries in world cricket, it seems highly unlikely Zimbabwe will be thrown out of the ICC.

Comments

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  • 1. At 7:58pm on 27 Jun 2008, ScottWozniak wrote:

    Peter Chingoka can say what he likes regarding the political situation
    in Zimbabwe, there are very sound cricketing grounds for them being
    demoted to associate status.

    We all know his motivation for wanting to stay a full member - the money
    the ZCU receives from the ICC is considerable and likely that much of it
    finds its way into his personal pocket as well as the ruling political
    party the Zanu-PF and none if any into grass roots Zimbabwe cricket.

    How is Zimbabwe cricket ever going to improve to the required level of
    full membership while little or no financial investment is made in the
    cricketing infrastructure in that country?

    The BCCI are hypocrits for wanting Zimbabwe to remain a full member when
    they themselves have cancelled tours to that country on the basis that
    it simply isn't 'financially viable'. The BCCI themselves don't want to
    play Zimbabwe, so why do they want them to remain a full member unless
    it's simply to rely on their vote support?

    I also read recently that the BCCI might decide to 'horse-trade' with
    the ECB, their support on Zimbawe for a guarantee that no ICL players
    will feature in the Champions League from the two T20 sides that
    qualify.

    Is this the way that future decisions should be made for the good of
    International Cricket? You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours?

    People are tired of the situation with Zimbabwe and the BCCI's constant
    meddling and interference in the governing of International Cricket.

    If Zimbabwe are not demoted to Associate status at the next ICC meeting,
    the ECB should withdraw and resign from the ICC until such a time that
    the situation with Zimbawe is resolved to their satisfaction.

    I see no point in England remaining a member of the ICC whilst the
    decision making and voting system remains undemoncratic and dominated by
    one country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 8:07pm on 27 Jun 2008, I'm not Paranoid, they ARE all out to get me!!! wrote:

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

    ALL the people of the world (including ICC members) should take a stand against the despot Mugabe and his regime - because it is the right thing to do!

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 8:15pm on 27 Jun 2008, olesbigtoe wrote:

    It has taken long enough for the ECB/British govt. to act on the troubles in Zimbabwe. Surely the ICC must follow their lead and not let this issue stagnate any further when once again sport can promote such a strong message, this time reflecting the wider world's disgust at the Mugabe regime.

    When players such as Andy Flower and Henry Olonga (and Nasser Hussain's England team) have put their careers (and more) at risk with defiant gestures, surely the powerful BCCI and ICC note this bravery and match it with their votes.

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  • 4. At 9:15pm on 27 Jun 2008, emsti wrote:

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

    Pertaining to the human rights' issues that problem should be addressed by
    a. African Union or b. United Nations, not by ICC. No one will deny that there is wrong being done here but cricket is not the source of the problem.

    As for the sporting issues, that is different. If all ICC board members can agree that government policies are affecting the cricket in Zimbabwe then they have all the rights to enforce policies or ban Zimbabwe. Use Zimbabwe's performance as the issue. Fifa has a great policy if government interferes in footballing matters, through the association OUT.

    ICC has a major problem, it has no backbone.

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  • 5. At 10:47pm on 27 Jun 2008, winstonrodney wrote:

    While cricket is not the source of the problems in Zimbabwe by choosing to do nothing up till now the ICC have become part of the problem.

    ScottWozniak is right on the money - the only way for any associate members of the ICC to maintain any credibility on this issue is to resign from the ICC.




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  • 6. At 11:25pm on 27 Jun 2008, George Rule wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 11:26pm on 27 Jun 2008, nospinzone wrote:

    Scott Wozniak - perhaps you don't see the irony in suggesting England should resign from the ICC because its being dominated by one country! It wasn't too many decades ago that England dominated the ICC. In fact, until 1965,the ICC used to be called the Imperial Cricket Conference...

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  • 8. At 01:28am on 28 Jun 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    "Senior Indian sources have told me", "One well placed source told me" Dear oh dear. You're at again aren't you? Why not put a name to this source? It's ridiculous.

    Any discussion about Zimbabwe is a serious discussion, but you are treating it like something to be gossiped about, like a little schoolboy.

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  • 9. At 12:59pm on 28 Jun 2008, mhla200 wrote:

    this is crazy, this ban is being pushed through by the bully british gov so they can host 2009 20/20 without ZIM.

    i hope india stand firm and tell them they are not interfering.

    to make things easier why not the ECB quit ICC instead.

    oh i forgot they cant they want to host 2009.

    this is what its all about. shame on you.

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  • 10. At 1:22pm on 28 Jun 2008, gunnerob wrote:

    mhla200 wrote:

    this is crazy, this ban is being pushed through by the bully british gov so they can host 2009 20/20 without ZIM.

    Sorry if the British Government is a bully how are you going to classify the Zimbabwean one.
    It's a wondeful get out of jail card to blame everything on the former imperial powers.

    ok debate about whether sport and politics should mix is possibly valid but wake up and smell the roses

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  • 11. At 11:43am on 30 Jun 2008, cricket-bm wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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