Not cricket

2008-07-07 00:00

During the apartheid years, the sports boycott of South Africa was a great moral cause, symbolising opposition to human rights abuse. While the boycott played only a minor part in the downfall of apartheid, it had a corrosive effect on the system’s supporters.

Given the scale of state-orchestrated terror in Zimbabwe, there are compelling reasons for a new boycott. President of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) is Robert Mugabe. Gross financial irregularities and administrative corruption within the ZCU suggest that it is part of the oppressive system, a sports department of Zanu-PF.

Expulsion of Zimbabwe from the International Cricket Council is supported by South Africa and England, but the South Asian bloc, led by India, has prevented the ultimate sanction. Given India’s record on South Africa, this is an act of cynicism indicative of the triumph of finance over morality. It is yet another stain on the reputation of a great game.

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