The International Cricket Council (ICC) met this week in Dubai to talk about a number of ‘cricket related’ matters including that of Zimbabwe’s membership status with ICC. The issue probably have been instigated by the English Cricket Board rather than other test playing countries. The compromise or the main outcome of the meeting is that ‘Zimbabwe will pull out of the World Twenty20 championship in the larger interest of the game’ that has to be held in England next year.
I have always wondered if the Zimbabwe issue is really related to cricket or racism. The England players, the English team and even the government there have always been criticizing Zimbabwe for various governance issues other than cricket. Or was it really cricket related? We all know that various white players from that country chose to play for English counties since the last few years. Several English (and some Aussies) players weren’t willing to play there as well. Personally, I feel that Zimbabwe is not such a bad place in terms of human rights, nor is it a target of Uncle Bush for the usual stupid reasons.
Colin Gibson, the ECB spokesperson even made statements such as the tickets for the matches involving Zimbabwe was under sold or were under threat. With the current compromise the plan is to include another associate country (probably not even as good as Zimbabwe) in the Twenty20 championship event. Hope that will result in a packed crowd and will satisfy the Englishmen.
After the ICC meeting, the Zimbabwe delegates also showered praises on big brother BCCI and Powar and co for their strong support, whatever that means. As a token of gratitude, Zimbabwe has agreed to play more matches with India which will definitely improve our flat-pitch bullies‘ batting records, BCCI’s pocket and also the fame that they are the saviors of the underdogs. Also Powar rises to the Nelson Mandela stature now!
If ICC, BCCI and ECB have genuine interest in resurrecting Zimbabwe as a cricket playing nation, they should come up with some proposals to lift their game and even help moneywise, expert help-wise and with some reassurance. The other option is to have a two-tiered (First division and second division test leagues) test match schedule plan from ICC which will be in the true interest of the game. Otherwise, things will go nowhere with respect to Zimbabwe as well as the overall growth of the game of cricket to other nations!