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Thread: Peter Roebuck tears Zimbabwe Cricket a brand new rectal orifice

  1. #1
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    Peter Roebuck tears Zimbabwe Cricket a brand new rectal orifice

    Zimbabwe turns on PR spin, but same old crooks run show

    Zimbabwe turns on PR spin, but same old crooks run show
    PETER ROEBUCK
    February 27, 2010

    EVERYTHING and nothing has changed in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Cricket. Of course, the two are inextricably connected.

    The links between the senior ranks of ZC and the ruling party are close and not to be denied by idle remark. ZC's broadcasting bus has often been used by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in its election campaigns. ZC bigwigs have allies and business partners in the upper echelons of the beaten but still ruling party.

    Zanu and ZC have fed greedily upon the carcass of the country and game they are supposed to care about. Greed, selfishness and bullying have been their trademarks, and it would be folly to assume that either has changed merely because the times dictate a softening of tone. Survival is their aim. They are playing tricks, exploiting the hopes of the optimists and the goodwill of the unknowing.

    On the surface, Zimbabwe and its cricketing body have come a long way. Trounced at the last election, fearing a backlash from African leaders, no longer glibly able to blame the West for the starvation, sickness and bankruptcy that have blighted their land, Zanu-PF entered into a unity government with the popular, respected but divided Movement for Democratic Change. Of course, it was a ruse. MDC knew it but lacked any other means of saving the people. Zanu rigged elections, fixed the media, ran the courts, controlled the army, and knew non-government organisations could be relied upon to avoid the abyss.

    Obviously Zanu has never had the slightest intention of conceding power. It regards ruling the country as its right. It has too much money to lose and cannot leave the table. Instead it will obfuscate as long as possible and then stage a coup.

    Under the deal, Zanu retained its grip on the things that matter to them - power and money - and allowed the winning party to run schools and hospitals and so forth. Just to make sure the MDC did not get above itself, the despots put their own men in charge of the legal and financial offices, whereupon they continued to fleece the nation.

    Inevitably, the ZC bigwigs have likewise concentrated on retaining their own positions the better to continue their activities unhampered. To that end they have created a facade of friendliness, a strategy intended to prove that they were genuine and able to lead ZC away from bitterness and towards toleration. Never mind that they created the bitterness in the first place.

    ZC has appointed whites to senior positions. It is part of a charm offensive. Alistair Campbell, a former captain and least impressive of all the previously disenchanted players, has accepted a position as chairman of selectors. Heath Streak is assisting with the bowling. In a few months, Grant Flower will take charge of the batting. Neil Manthorp, former journalist of no little distinction, is working as the team's media manager in the West Indies. Now, Alan Butcher, formerly of Surrey and England, has been chosen as coach.

    On paper it looks good, almost sincere. It is designed to ease the pressure on ZC, to make it acceptable, and to ensure Zimbabwe recaptures its Test status so the money keeps rolling in.

    But the money is the problem. Where has it all gone? Suddenly ZC can afford to hire batting and bowling coaches and appoint a foreigner to replace a local as coach. Suddenly there is enough dosh in the books, or anyhow in the safe in the office of chief executive Ozias Bvute. Previously it could not find a mower to cut the grass and the players were paid a pittance. When wicketkeeper/batsman Tatenda Taibu dared to ask for more he and his wife were threatened and fled the country.

    ZC tries to scare off critics by spreading little stories about their foibles, even publishing them in tame little newspapers that omit to mention torture camps, rape, corruption, and the hundreds of millions of dollars and diamonds stolen under the noses of people desperate for food and medicine.

    Can there be normal sport in an abnormal society?

    Already Manthorp has written one piece praising the new guard at ZC. But the new guard is the old guard dressed in better clothes. Meanwhile, cricket administrator Peter Chingoka and Bvute retain their grip on power in ZC as surely, tightly and as cleverly as their odious political masters retain their grip on the levers of political power.

    Chingoka and Bvute are extremely wealthy men with properties in London, New York and Cape Town, and children attending overseas colleges. Chingoka has not worked for years and his fellow manipulator arrived from Botswana with a trail of debts. Both have prepared for all eventualities. Bvute is keen to obtain his green card. Both are angry about the freezing of their overseas accounts and travel restrictions.

    Torn between a desire to assist those genuinely seeking to liberate Zimbabwe and its cricket and a desire to thwart the black tyranny that replaced arrogant white rule, cricket countries concerned are in a tricky position. For now it's best to retain sanctions, and to remember that leopards don't change their spots.

  2. #2
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    If ever a man knew his rectal orifices...

    No, in all seriousness, I think it's a timely warning. One thinks of Marx's dictum that history is repeated first as tragedy and then as farce.

    One line caught my eye as a cheap shot tho (and yes, connoisseurs of irony might well point to my opening line in this post) "Alistair Campbell, a former captain and least impressive of all the previously disenchanted players"

    Least impressive? When a remark like that is made aporpos of nothing and without any qualification it looks, well, like an inexpensive dig. Campbell might well be the least impressive (no crime in that, Olonga, the Flowers & Heath Streak were all stoic and diginified in the midst of the rape of their country), but as a bald statement it can't pass unchallenged.
    Cricket Web's 2013/14 Premier League Tipping Champion

    - As featured in The Independent.

    "The committee discussed the issue of illegal bowling actions, and believed that there are a number of bowlers currently employing suspect actions in international cricket, and that the ICC's reporting and testing procedures are not adequately scrutinising these bowlers."
    - Even the ICC's own official press release thinks things must change

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    International Coach Shri's Avatar
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    Brumby's post's opening line



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