Zimbabwean cricket crisis

Zimbabwean Cricket Crisis

Zimbabwean cricket crisis

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Cricket in Zimbabwe is currently beset by serious issues that are endangering the continuation of first-class cricket in the country. Many people allege that the administration of cricket in Zimbabwe is corrupted by the influence of Robert Mugabe's government, who are widely accused of following racist, in particular anti-white, policies.

Crisis emerges

During the 2000-01 season, players began to allege political interference in the running of the game in Zimbabwe. There had already been a reduction in government funding for the sport's development. The players alleged that selection of the national team was subject to interference and particularly resented the imposition of a quota system to ensure a minimum number of black players would be included. The players argued that the black players were gradually emerging, as in South Africa, and that they would increase in due course. For example, Hamilton Masakadza had already made his mark as a batsman, and Mluleki Nkala and Henry Olonga were marking their mark as bowlers.

The matter came to prominence before the 2003 World Cup, when both the British prime minister Tony Blair and the Australian prime minister John Howard said they would prefer it if their teams did not travel to Zimbabwe, but did not ban them from doing so. In the event, only England refused to travel to Harare to play Zimbabwe as they considered it morally wrong to do so, thereby forfeiting the match. In Zimbabwe's first match, two players, one white,...
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