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Another reason to want the England cricket team not to tour Zimbabwe this winter

One reason for not wanting England to go ahead with its projected cricket tour of Zimbabwe this winter is that the despotic ruler of that unhappy land, Robert Mugabe, will undoubtedly regard such a tour as proof of his own international magnificence, and of the indifference of all people in Britain to his many murders and other atrocities.

Things in Zimbabwe are so bad that even the UN has noticed, and wants to throw other people’s money at the problem.

The United Nations is appealing for more than $94 million to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe. The United Nations says economic mismanagement has brought Zimbabwe to the brink of a serious humanitarian crisis.

Yes. Things are about to get really bad out there. Hurry. Give money, before people start to die.

The United Nations says Zimbabwe’s economy is a shambles and getting worse. It says inflation has shot up from 100 percent in 2000 to 600 percent this year. And, last year, it says, the Gross Domestic Product dropped by 13 percent.

When I say throw other people’s money at the problem, I actually mean throw other people’s money at Robert Mugube, for it is undoubtedly he who will hoover it all up.

Money isn’t going to solve this problem. In fact that kind of money is the damn problem, or at any rate a big slice of it. Serious international pressure, on Mugabe’s version of Zimbabwe, and on all the scumbag politicians in other countries who are protecting Mugabe’s version of Zimbabwe, might make some small difference by speeding the collapse of that disgusting regime by a few months and hence saving a couple of hundred thousand lives, or whatever it would be. Anything which might draw attention to this horror story, such as a nice little row about the England cricket tour, is all to the good.

But now here is another reason to hope that the England cricketers cancel their trip. If they do, it may mean that London will not get the 2012 Olympics.

If England boycott their tour of Zimbabwe this winter, it could have a knock-on effect on London’s prospects of hosting the Olympic Games in 1912…

… and they seem to have lost a century there, but never mind…

…according to a report in Friday’s edition of The Guardian. What is more, the potential costs to the England & Wales Cricket Board are spiralling by the day, and if they are suspended by the ICC for their moral stance, they could lose up to £50 million in gate receipts, sponsorship, and TV revenue.

“The ECB is once again in an invidious position because of the utterly tragic situation in Zimbabwe,” said John Read, the board’s director of communications. “A one-year ban would cost the ECB tens of millions of pounds, and would have a devastating effect on all aspects of the game, including our ability to help nurture and develop the two million schoolchildren that play cricket up and down the country. It is difficult to envisage a more serious scenario facing cricket in England and Wales.”

The ECB’s stance has also caused widespread distrust among African IOC members, whose votes will be crucial when it comes to deciding which city is awarded the 2012 Olympics. It has been noted that there was no such opposition to Zimbabwe’s participation in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, partly because of a fear of an African boycott.

Rejoice David Carr.

Maybe the ECB should start a “Boycott the Tour” fund, to cover the cost to them of pulling out of this abominable expedition. I agree that it is tough on them to be used as a political stick to beat Mugabe with. So, all those of us who think their tour should be used as a stick anyway, because every stick helps, should be asked to pay for their opinion. One thing is for sure. Money spent that way will do a whole lot more good than UN “humanitarian aid”. Plus, it would publicise the whole disgusting mess very satisfactorily.

Armed humanitarian aid, that went in there and actually helped all the afflicted Zimbabweans and cut out the middle man (Mugabe), preferably by apprehending him (dead or alive), would be a different matter.

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2 comments to Another reason to want the England cricket team not to tour Zimbabwe this winter

  • Guy Herbert

    However evil the dictatorship, I’m not usually for preventing sporting or economic ties. Boycotts usually end up bolstering tyrants: look at Castro. Trade and communication can subvert them. (Support and funding given directly to governments or rulers’ families, on the other hand, is a good way of creating a dictatorship.)

    However, if there’s a chance of preventing the Olympics poisoning London, then my personal interests shake me out of such principled neutrality. I might just write to the ECB and point out how I think they are giving unconscionable support to the Mugabe regime. God, how politics corrupt us!

  • David Christian

    why was the ECB under pressure to cancel the england cricket tour to Zimbabwe?