Australian Government does not want the Zimbabwe tour ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX



Sunday, May 13, 2007

Australian Government does not want the Zimbabwe tour

Every now and then we are reminded of cricket being more than just a sport accepted only for its entertainment value. Money, politics, foriegn policies, personal ego and haywire fans all come together as a package with any international sport particularly so with cricket. Needless to say these foriegn elements, though unfortunately unavoidable, take a lot of the sheen away from the sport itself. The way the World Cup was conducted with the ICC trying to milk money out of everything that happened in the Caribbean and the way it resulted into being a frustrating and uninteresting affair serves as proof to the above fact.

And now a country's government steps in to put a halt to an international sporting affair. The Australian Prime Minister has chosen to stop its cricketers from touring Zimbabwe. All we want is a game. Nothing more, nothing less. But then as I said above these things are unavoidable when a sport reaches a level where it can affect the foreign policies af a Government. The Australian Goverment may have their own reasons. And this is the reason the Australian PM gives:
"I don't think it's fair to leave a foreign policy decision of this magnitude on the shoulders of young sportsmen. It's much better, in the end, for the government to take the rap. I hope the rest of the cricketing world understands that, and it would be a very good idea if the rest of the cricket world adopted the same attitude towards [Robert] Mugabe's regime. I'm not going to stand around and allow some kind of aid and comfort be given to him by the greatest cricketing team in the world visiting his country."
Fine enough. You have your own reasons. But that comment about 'not allowing the greatest team to visit Zimbabwe and offer it aid and comfort' does seem a little arrogant to me. What if Australia was not the greatest side? Would it have been appropriate for them to tour Zimbabwe then? That comment made it look like Australia was doing a favour everytime it toured another country. Sounds like misplaced pride.

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