Australia Zimbabwe tour in doubt

Australia’s three match ODI tour of Zimbabwe is further in doubt after the Australian Government offered to pay any fines the Australians receive for refusing to tour.

The Australian Government, who have long been opposed to the Robert Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, will pay any fine handed out by the ICC which can be up to two million dollars.

“I will be having and (Foreign Minister) Alexander Downer will be having further discussions with Cricket Australia because the situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated very badly,” Australian Prime Minister John Howard said today.

“In the end, foreign policy decisions have got to be taken by governments and the situation in Zimbabwe is quite unacceptable.

“We would indemnify Cricket Australia for any compensation it might have to pay to the international body. It would not be fair to visit the cost of a foreign policy decision on a sporting body.”

Stuart MacGill, the player who made headlines for refusing to tour Zimbabwe three years ago, maintained his stance on the issue.

“It’s naive to think that sport and politics don’t mix,” MacGill said.

“You have to look at things from all angles and make your own mind up about the sorts of things that are important to you and that you have a bigger part to play in the world community than just on the sporting field.”

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