Government officially stops tour
12 May 2007
By: James Nixon
The Australian government have officially blocked the Australian cricket team from touring Zimbabwe later in the year.
Prime Minister John Howard told media that "We don't do this lightly, but we are convinced that for the tour to go ahead there would be an enormous propaganda boost to the Mugabe regime."
"The Mugabe regime is behaving like the Gestapo towards its political opponents. The living standards in the country are probably the lowest of any in the world, you have an absolutely unbelievable rate of inflation."
"I have no doubt that if this tour goes ahead it will be an enormous boost to this grubby dictator."
Howard confirmed that they have the right to block the tour and believe the Australian Cricket Board understand their position.
By the Australian government banning the tour, it also rules out the chance of the International Cricket Council imposing a fine.
Howard continued on with his statement saying "It's pretty obvious to me that the players and the body wanted to act in conformity with public opinion but in the end, not surprisingly, they wanted a situation where the decision was taken by the Government and not the players."
"I don't think it's fair to leave a foreign policy decision of this magnitude on the shoulders of young sportsmen. It's much better, in the end, for the Government to take the rap."
"I hope the rest of the cricketing world understands that and it would be a very good idea if the rest of the cricket world adopted the same attitude towards Mugabe's regime."
"I'm not going to stand around and allow some kind of aid and comfort be given to him by the greatest cricketing team in the world visiting his country." Discuss this news item in the Cricket Web Forums