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John the Dictator steps in

Silly Point
13 May, 2007

The decision to bar Australian cricket team from their scheduled tour to Zimbabwe by John Howard is nothing but a move that is racially motivated, criminal and vile.

For some time I was suspecting John Howard to be a foul dictator of very low intellect. And his evil intentions have now started surfacing.

I am sure this is not last of it.

Robert Mugabe may not be as pure as driven snow but his decision to re-distribute farming lands evenly to the Zimbabwean poor blacks which was illegally stolen from them by the colonial rulers, is completely something of a political nature. Cricket has nothing to do with it.

But John the Dictator has no right to claim himself civilised and then take the world cricket hostage.

Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland was all very eager to eat the pie and commented:

“We accept that the Australian Government has the responsibility for making decisions about our nation's international relationships.

“Separately, as cricket administrators, we remain committed to the International Cricket Council policy that all ICC full-member nations must play all other ICC full-member nations regularly unless it is either
unsafe or is not possible for reasons beyond the control of the visiting country.

“Cricket Australia supports the ICC policy that cricket will only develop as a genuinely international sport if all ICC members play each other regularly and our record speaks for itself on this issue,” he said.

Mr Sutherland said CA would assess the detail of the Australia Government's decision to understand the full implications as soon as possible, and was also advising its players, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and the ICC of the notice it has received from the Australian government.

“Given our commitment to help Zimbabwe cricket develop, we will now explore the possibility of playing the three ODIs we are due to play against Zimbabwe in September at a neutral venue outside Zimbabwe” he said.

Australia Captain Ricky Ponting also commented on the Australian Government's position in relation to the proposed tour of Zimbabwe later this year, and only appeared to be thoroughly relieved.

Ricky Ponting said:

“As far as this situation is concerned, I'm comfortable that the Australian Government has taken the responsibility for making international affairs decisions on behalf of the country. As captain of Australia I've never had a problem playing against international cricketers from Zimbabwe and as a playing group the Australian squad understands its responsibility to spread the word of cricket throughout the world by playing against all member countries and, from time to time, in non-member countries as well.”

International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Malcolm Speed termed the decision “unfortunate” and decided to give it a lip service.

“It is not the role of the ICC to make political judgments,” said Mr Speed. “That is for politicians; the ICC is a sporting organization and our role is to ensure that the game of cricket is played wherever possible.

“Our policy has been consistent since 2004 as, under the terms of the Future Tours Program Agreement, if the government of one of the Members refuses “to grant a consent, exemption, approval or clearance or imposes any restriction or prohibition” on its team to tour another country, these circumstances constitute acceptable non-compliance.

“In this instance it appears the Australian Government has acted in this way.

“It is unfortunate for Zimbabwe’s cricketers and supporters, all of whom need exposure to top-quality cricket in order to develop as players and to encourage future generations to take up the sport.

“As for whether the matches can take place in a neutral venue, given the choice between that and those matches not taking place at all we would obviously prefer them to be played.

“That will be for the two Boards to work out but we would encourage them to look at all options.

“From an ICC perspective, we will work with Zimbabwe Cricket and our members to try to ensure the game there gets the support it needs in order to continue at this difficult time.”

Australia is supposed to visit Zimbabwe to play scheduled international cricket in September 2007.

The ugly and vicious meddling by John the Dictator will make sure cricket will be the biggest loser.

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