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Thread: Zimbabwean Cricket: Time for The End

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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Zimbabwean Cricket: Time for The End

    http://www.cricketweb.net/articles/E...iTwaQbaY.shtml

    Well, this is my latest effort. 1,470 words.. essay-length!

    May 1999 saw Zimbabwean Cricket at its peak, with Neil Johnson, Heath Streak, Andy Flower and Murray Goodwin leading their side to fifth place in the World Cup, having only gained Test status seven years previously. They had emerged from the shadows of their neighbours to the South, and were no longer treated with disdain by the other Test nations.

    May 2004 saw Zimbabwean Cricket as a standing joke as fifteen rebel players joined the increasingly long list of exiles, alienated by increasingly ill-founded government interference and unprincipled inaction from other nations.

    On a day where a Zimbabwean "representative" side containing just 53 caps - less than five of the opposing Sri Lankan players - were sent down the path pf another heavy defeat, the handling of the whole issue by all parties must be questioned.

    The Zimbabwe Cricket Union and Zanu-PF
    Never has the word "apolitical" been so badly misused. In fact, it's not misuse, it's a bare-faced lie. The ZCU is in the pocket of Ozias Bvute, who is Robert Mugabe's own personal finger-puppet. Selection has been increasingly racialised since World Cup 1999, as Zanu-PF took on a growing level of control over all activity in the country.

    Should one believe the propaganda, Zanu-PF are merely fighting the fight of the underprivileged black community, disenfranchised by the years of white colonialism. One would then completely overlook the fact that the leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, and Henry Olonga - he of the black-armband protest - are also black. Now don't get me wrong here - I'm a socialist and in favour of land redistribution, but I wasn't under the impression that beatings and killings were the best way of going about these things.

    The race cards, played so often by this corrupt and failing administration, are running out. Inflation is running at 580%. Forty-five schools were closed this week in the run-up to exams for attempting to raise fees by 50%, and "keep the blacks out". That inflation means that textbooks costing $10 one year would cost $68 the next - now do we see why increases are needed? Or how about looking to blame yourselves for gross economic mismanagement that would make a 14-year-old Business Studies student cringe?

    The Zimbabwean dollar has been devalued eight-fold in recent months - one US dollar is now equivalent to Z$5,000 - in a vain effort to save the collapsing export sectors of the economy, but whilst the government spending plans continue to neglect economic well being for the sake of weapons and civil wars fought far outside the borders, meltdown will continue.

    The Rebel Players
    What else can one do? You put your life into playing sport for your country - and are then not selected because you don't have enough melanin in your skin. Imagine the outcry if England based a selection decision on race above anything else. Zimbabwean sides have been becoming more and more of a misrepresentative embarrassment to their country for the last few years, with the players hapless passengers on Mad Bob's train ride towards the buffers.

    The actions of the Rebel Fifteen, following on from Andy Flower and Henry Olonga's stand in the World Cup, are wholly understandable. Passengers do not stand by and watch train wrecks take place - action is taken and they try to arrest the developments. It's not even as if they've made no efforts to negotiate - but the ZanuPF-CU are too far removed from the real word to accept than any other version of events could have the slightest merit. Surely the rebels' efforts cannot be criticised, unless you are...

    The International Cricket Council
    Some situations call for leadership, backbone and decision-making; three quantities that the ICC is world famous for lacking. Their latest statement would be an appalling shock were it not for the fact that the council has the collective spine of a Great Crested Newt - and their actions in sniveling compliance with ZCU propaganda come as nothing but another demoralising step towards an uncertain future for our game.

    For the benefit of Ehsan Mani, and the other ICC mandarins whose decision-making processes are solely influenced by the lure of money, I'll remind you all of the events at the Harare Sports Club on April 25, 2004. This was the day that extras - with 7 - jointly top-scored for Zimbabwe as three Sri Lankan bowlers shot them out for a pathetic 35 runs, as politics took an unassailable series lead over the good of the game.

    Let me also remind you of your duties, as set out on your website, as your mission statement. "As the international governing body for cricket, the International Cricket Council will lead by promoting the game as a global sport, protecting the spirit of cricket and optimising commercial opportunities for the benefit of the game."

    There are THREE objectives there, not just the last one. Fines and bans for cancellation of tours to a corrupt and racist country have the exact opposite effect on your first two aims. The spirit of cricket, however many times you prosecute players for clapping their hands at an opponent as a violation of the code-of-conduct, has long since been ignored in the name of post-colonial revenge by Mugabe and his cronies.

    The Governments of England and Australia
    Jack Straw, sport in this country may not be state-run - and for that I am both proud and thankful - but there is nothing stopping a trade embargo - or would that intrude on the precious arms deals? It is hypocritical in the extreme to preach one viewpoint and practice the opposite. How about at least underwriting the lost revenue the ECB would suffer should they pull out?

    The England and Wales Cricket Board
    Without question, the ECB - and other touring boards - are between a boulder and a brick wall when it comes to their decision making on touring. Should moral concerns override all, the swingeing financial penalties most likely imposed by the ICC would critically wound the future of cricket in the country, and touring under what is effectively financial blackmail would be seized upon by critics of the Mugabe regime. A unenviable position - but at least, come clean with the situation you're in. The handling of the Zimbabwe issue in the World Cup and the following tour of England was on the incompetent side of useless.

    Stuart MacGill
    Congratulations - at least somebody has the courage of their convictions to stand up and refuse to be associated with this despotic tyranny. You're a fine example to follow and I fervently hope that enough players follow your lead for ICC action to become unavoidable.

    Comment
    In the time between starting this article and its conclusion, Zimbabwe have capitulated once again - to their heaviest defeat in their history - against a Sri Lankan side not famed for their ability when the pitches do not turn. What will happen when the Australians come to town, I dread to think. Brian Lara's record is under grave threat and the image of International Cricket is about to take a rapid turning onto an exceptionally steep descent.

    Whether an escape road can be found or not will depend totally upon whether the International Cricket Council has either the balls or the morality to take a stand. Mugabe, Bvute, their fellow bigots and their disgusting racist selection and development policies have no place in the International arena. You have but one option to maintain dignity - and that is the outright ban. Forget the lost TV revenue, cricket is the one aspect of Zimbabwean society on the brink of normality - once this veneer is stripped away, the final implosion of the Zanu-PF is inevitable as their isolation from the real world grows.

    The ECB and Cricket Australia - should the ICC maintain their current compliance with the regime - have the chance to keep their dignity at least slightly intact, should they make it clear that they are solely touring due their underlying commitment to grass-roots development and the catastrophic knock-on effects that a withdrawal, financial penalty and/or ban would have.

    The players, like MacGill, have the chance to keep the issue at the forefront of World Cricket's field of vision, should enough of them possess the guts to stand up for morality.

    It's time for the final curtain to fall on Mugabe's tormented, twisted and tortured dominion once and for all. Racist, bigoted and increasingly insane, its continued bastardised presence on the world scene benefits no-one but the power brokers of Zanu-PF, and cricket's continued benign acceptance of the regime and all that it stands for does equally little for the game.

    It's time to act. It's time to follow the shining path blazed by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga. It's time for the end.
    Last edited by Neil Pickup; 10-05-2004 at 03:01 AM.
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  2. #2
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    Well, this is my latest effort. 1,470 words.. essay-length!

    Pah, mere amateur.

    Last time I got wound up and put pen to paper (so to speak) the result was 4,333 words.
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    What the Zimbabwe Government is doing is wrong and I agree that it has to stop. But putting a stop to the Cricket team isn't going to solve anything. It is only going to make is so the great cricket fans don't notice as much. The problems are still going to go on.

    The Question the world should be asking is whta can we do to stop this. Because I can't see anything that is going to. Why punish a select few cricketers when they are not the problem.

  4. #4
    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    http://www.cricketweb.net/articles/E...iTwaQbaY.shtml
    It's time to act. It's time to follow the shining path blazed by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga. It's time for the end.
    I am afraid it is already the end..

    Nice article... I get the impression that Mani couldnt even name 3 Zimbabwean grounds without looking it up...

    I am disgusted and at a loss to explain what the hell is going on in the game I love...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara
    What the Zimbabwe Government is doing is wrong and I agree that it has to stop. But putting a stop to the Cricket team isn't going to solve anything. It is only going to make is so the great cricket fans don't notice as much. The problems are still going to go on.

    The Question the world should be asking is whta can we do to stop this. Because I can't see anything that is going to. Why punish a select few cricketers when they are not the problem.

    because every journey begins with one step - individuals / organisations / govts on their own may not be able to bring about change, but collectively they can start to at least draw some attention to the situation & inspire further action.

    it is unfortunate that in each situation such as this that there will always be 'innocent' victims - in this case ZIM cricketers, however what is the merit of the current ZIM selection without the 'rebels' & selections based upon race rather than merit????? Furthermore while sport may be the catalyst for this forum, the issues within their society are far wider reaching and far more serious than what ammounts to a sport / job / income / entertainment etc - at least in this current conflict regarding cricket no one has been killed that we are aware of, unlike other existing situations preceeding this latest development.

    the old standby arguement that 'sport & politics don't mix' is as antiquated as the gas lamp and about as relevant. IMO sport has been political in various shades as soon as it reaches international levels - more so when the sport has a relatively high profile - witness the various Olympic boycotts since 1976 in the highest profile sporting comp in the world.....

    beyond our immediate interest regarding the sport, I find the overall situation regarding ZIM a sad indictment on the likes of the ICC & member nations, Commonwealth & member nations, UN & member nations.

    It could be said that because of the current 'war v terrorism' in it's various guises around the globe where lives are being lost daily thru' bombings etc, that the ZIM situation is not newsworthy enough as it is primarily seen as internal politics with little effect on the rest of us.

    So far as international sport is concerned the world attention is focused upon the upcoming Olympics & issues regarding terrorism after the recent local bombings, either than or Europe is also focused upon the more immediate finals to the club football season and the closely followed European Championship for the member nations.

    Likewise because there seems to be no immediate threat to US 'interests' (unlike the potential advantages to have been gained in Afghanistan & Iraq), that the 'defenders of the free world' have little time for anything else at the moment.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    http://www.cricketweb.net/articles/E...iTwaQbaY.shtml

    Well, this is my latest effort. 1,470 words.. essay-length!

    May 1999 saw Zimbabwean Cricket at its peak, with Neil Johnson, Heath Streak, Andy Flower and Murray Goodwin leading their side to fifth place in the World Cup, having only gained Test status seven years previously. They had emerged from the shadows of their neighbours to the South, and were no longer treated with disdain by the other Test nations.

    May 2004 saw Zimbabwean Cricket as a standing joke as fifteen rebel players joined the increasingly long list of exiles, alienated by increasingly ill-founded government interference and unprincipled inaction from other nations.

    On a day where a Zimbabwean "representative" side containing just 53 caps - less than five of the opposing Sri Lankan players - were sent down the path pf another heavy defeat, the handling of the whole issue by all parties must be questioned.

    The Zimbabwe Cricket Union and Zanu-PF
    Never has the word "apolitical" been so badly misused. In fact, it's not misuse, it's a bare-faced lie. The ZCU is in the pocket of Ozias Bvute, who is Robert Mugabe's own personal finger-puppet. Selection has been increasingly racialised since World Cup 1999, as Zanu-PF took on a growing level of control over all activity in the country.

    Should one believe the propaganda, Zanu-PF are merely fighting the fight of the underprivileged black community, disenfranchised by the years of white colonialism. One would then completely overlook the fact that the leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, and Henry Olonga - he of the black-armband protest - are also black. Now don't get me wrong here - I'm a socialist and in favour of land redistribution, but I wasn't under the impression that beatings and killings were the best way of going about these things.

    The race cards, played so often by this corrupt and failing administration, are running out. Inflation is running at 580%. Forty-five schools were closed this week in the run-up to exams for attempting to raise fees by 50%, and "keep the blacks out". That inflation means that textbooks costing $10 one year would cost $68 the next - now do we see why increases are needed? Or how about looking to blame yourselves for gross economic mismanagement that would make a 14-year-old Business Studies student cringe?

    The Zimbabwean dollar has been devalued eight-fold in recent months - and is now equivalent to US$5,000 - in a vain effort to save the collapsing export sectors of the economy, but whilst the government spending plans continue to neglect economic well being for the sake of weapons and civil wars fought far outside the borders, meltdown will continue.

    The Rebel Players
    What else can one do? You put your life into playing sport for your country - and are then not selected because you don't have enough melanin in your skin. Imagine the outcry if England based a selection decision on race above anything else. Zimbabwean sides have been becoming more and more of a misrepresentative embarrassment to their country for the last few years, with the players hapless passengers on Mad Bob's train ride towards the buffers.

    The actions of the Rebel Fifteen, following on from Andy Flower and Henry Olonga's stand in the World Cup, are wholly understandable. Passengers do not stand by and watch train wrecks take place - action is taken and they try to arrest the developments. It's not even as if they've made no efforts to negotiate - but the ZanuPF-CU are too far removed from the real word to accept than any other version of events could have the slightest merit. Surely the rebels' efforts cannot be criticised, unless you are...

    The International Cricket Council
    Some situations call for leadership, backbone and decision-making; three quantities that the ICC is world famous for lacking. Their latest statement would be an appalling shock were it not for the fact that the council has the collective spine of a Great Crested Newt - and their actions in sniveling compliance with ZCU propaganda come as nothing but another demoralising step towards an uncertain future for our game.

    For the benefit of Ehsan Mani, and the other ICC mandarins whose decision-making processes are solely influenced by the lure of money, I'll remind you all of the events at the Harare Sports Club on April 25, 2004. This was the day that extras - with 7 - jointly top-scored for Zimbabwe as three Sri Lankan bowlers shot them out for a pathetic 35 runs, as politics took an unassailable series lead over the good of the game.

    Let me also remind you of your duties, as set out on your website, as your mission statement. "As the international governing body for cricket, the International Cricket Council will lead by promoting the game as a global sport, protecting the spirit of cricket and optimising commercial opportunities for the benefit of the game."

    There are THREE objectives there, not just the last one. Fines and bans for cancellation of tours to a corrupt and racist country have the exact opposite effect on your first two aims. The spirit of cricket, however many times you prosecute players for clapping their hands at an opponent as a violation of the code-of-conduct, has long since been ignored in the name of post-colonial revenge by Mugabe and his cronies.

    The Governments of England and Australia
    Jack Straw, sport in this country may not be state-run - and for that I am both proud and thankful - but there is nothing stopping a trade embargo - or would that intrude on the precious arms deals? It is hypocritical in the extreme to preach one viewpoint and practice the opposite. How about at least underwriting the lost revenue the ECB would suffer should they pull out?

    The England and Wales Cricket Board
    Without question, the ECB - and other touring boards - are between a boulder and a brick wall when it comes to their decision making on touring. Should moral concerns override all, the swingeing financial penalties most likely imposed by the ICC would critically wound the future of cricket in the country, and touring under what is effectively financial blackmail would be seized upon by critics of the Mugabe regime. A unenviable position - but at least, come clean with the situation you're in. The handling of the Zimbabwe issue in the World Cup and the following tour of England was on the incompetent side of useless.

    Stuart MacGill
    Congratulations - at least somebody has the courage of their convictions to stand up and refuse to be associated with this despotic tyranny. You're a fine example to follow and I fervently hope that enough players follow your lead for ICC action to become unavoidable.

    Comment
    In the time between starting this article and its conclusion, Zimbabwe have capitulated once again - to their heaviest defeat in their history - against a Sri Lankan side not famed for their ability when the pitches do not turn. What will happen when the Australians come to town, I dread to think. Brian Lara's record is under grave threat and the image of International Cricket is about to take a rapid turning onto an exceptionally steep descent.

    Whether an escape road can be found or not will depend totally upon whether the International Cricket Council has either the balls or the morality to take a stand. Mugabe, Bvute, their fellow bigots and their disgusting racist selection and development policies have no place in the International arena. You have but one option to maintain dignity - and that is the outright ban. Forget the lost TV revenue, cricket is the one aspect of Zimbabwean society on the brink of normality - once this veneer is stripped away, the final implosion of the Zanu-PF is inevitable as their isolation from the real world grows.

    The ECB and Cricket Australia - should the ICC maintain their current compliance with the regime - have the chance to keep their dignity at least slightly intact, should they make it clear that they are solely touring due their underlying commitment to grass-roots development and the catastrophic knock-on effects that a withdrawal, financial penalty and/or ban would have.

    The players, like MacGill, have the chance to keep the issue at the forefront of World Cricket's field of vision, should enough of them possess the guts to stand up for morality.

    It's time for the final curtain to fall on Mugabe's tormented, twisted and tortured dominion once and for all. Racist, bigoted and increasingly insane, its continued bastardised presence on the world scene benefits no-one but the power brokers of Zanu-PF, and cricket's continued benign acceptance of the regime and all that it stands for does equally little for the game.

    It's time to act. It's time to follow the shining path blazed by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga. It's time for the end.

    Nice article Neil. What are you studying at university ?
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  7. #7
    International Captain Sudeep's Avatar
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    I don't think cancelling all future tours to Zimbabwe is the solution. It would be harsh on the country's cricketers, and the fans to do so.

    But I am all for one or two cancellations (Australia and England), just to send a message to Zanu-PF that the world is watching, and there could be trouble for them, if they carry on their way of administration.

    ICC's handling of the situation has been absolutely ridiculous. While making statements of not allowing politics to affect cricket, it has done just exactly the opposite.

    We are now quite sure that Australia and England will tour. But I believe more players from the two countries should pull out, just like Stuart MacGill did, to send a STRONG message.
    Last edited by Sudeep; 09-05-2004 at 12:17 AM.

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    International Captain ash chaulk's Avatar
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    yeah but who really wants to give up playing for your country against another even if zimbabwe are not playing so great... Even if others pull out there will be others to be selected to fill the gaps. unless Cricket Australia says no ones going
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    if SRL get a crack at the current side i dont see why Australia and England should be denied the chance
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    The trouble with Australia and England alone boycotting tours to Zimbabwe is that will be jumped upon by certain quarters as a decision taken from a racist stance. It has to be everyone or no-one.

    As Sudeep Popat stated, the tours will go ahead under pain of expulsion/suspension from the ICC - so (unfortunately) it is now down to players concerned. Once again, they have been shafted.
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  11. #11
    International Regular chris.hinton's Avatar
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    Nice Stuff they Neil

    I hope that Zimbabwe are banned from world cricket

  12. #12
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    Nice article. But the Zim Dollar isnt worth $5000 U.S is it?
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  13. #13
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Blade
    Nice article. But the Zim Dollar isnt worth $5000 U.S is it?
    $5,101.10 at the last check. It's going through the floor.

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudeep Popat
    I don't think cancelling all future tours to Zimbabwe is the solution. It would be harsh on the country's cricketers, and the fans to do so.

    But I am all for one or two cancellations (Australia and England), just to send a message to Zanu-PF that the world is watching, and there could be trouble for them, if they carry on their way of administration.

    ICC's handling of the situation has been absolutely ridiculous. While making statements of not allowing politics to affect cricket, it has done just exactly the opposite.

    We are now quite sure that Australia and England will tour. But I believe more players from the two countries should pull out, just like Stuart MacGill did, to send a STRONG message.
    The excuse about its being for the fans wears ever thinner as the attendances fell below 200 in the recent ODI series. It was harsh on the cricketers of SA in 1970 as well, but some things have to be done.

  15. #15
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Sure it's not 1 US Dollar is $5000 Zimbabwean?

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