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Saturday, May 29, 2010

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Rick Eyre

With Zimbabwe playing ODI and T20 international cricket and being eligible to compete in all the major ICC tournaments, you could argue that Test status makes little difference to their global standing. I do think, though, that they should get a regular regime of four-day matches going against other countries' "A" teams before they are given the OK to resume full five-day Tests. If the cricket world was serious about taking a stand against the Mugabe regime then Zimbabwe would be playing NO international cricket.

The Reverse Sweep

I agree with you that no international cricket should have been played against Zimbabwe at the height of Mugabe's atrocities (and who's to say that these have tailed off?). It's always a shame when politics gets in the way of sport and it is obviously unfortunate for the Zimbabwean players and fans. But Mugabe's regime is so vile and his people so oppressed it is difficult to justify the genteel sport of cricket being played. But the ICC fudged the issue (as usual), and so we are where we are. Perhaps four day games against 'A' teams and even Bangladesh(?) would be a good start once (and only once) independent observers have confirmed that the situation in the country is normalised. That could be some thime I am afraid.

Russ

Worth noting that Zimbabwe are already playing in the Intercontinental Cup, which is at least as good a measure of their progress as 'A' team games would be (and more valuable a contribution to international cricket). Or rather, it would be if Zimbabwe hadn't insisted that they play their 'A' side in the competition. A move that the ICC should have disallowed given it ensured that if Zimbabwe lost they could claim it was only their 'A' team, and if they won that they were too good for the second tier.

The test nations need to sort themselves out before worrying about Zimbabwe anyway. The compromise on Zimbabwe's status came about because, while only England, Australia and New Zealand wanted them suspended, the rest were happy to clear their schedules of tours that attracted little to no revenue. That secondary reason hasn't changed at all; if anything, it has been exacerbated by the rise of domestic T20 tournaments.

The Reverse Sweep

Thanks for the comments Russ. It's an absolute mess and playing their A team in the ICC cup is a joke. The ICC needs strong leaders, but instead it gets politicians with little knowledge of cricket administration.

Russ

RS, I don't necessarily agree with needing knowledge of cricket administration. An appreciation of the game, sure, but cricket administrators have shown themselves over and over to be either deeply conservative or beholden to entrepreneurs who can flash some cash. We need people with a knowledge of sporting economics, a vision for growth and development, and the cojones to leverage whatever power the ICC has to stand up its members.

The Reverse Sweep

I guess you were thinking of Allen Stanford there. Good point!

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