March 22, 2008

Zimbabwe cricket

Chingoka ... the Grinch who stole cricket

Martin Williamson





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Peter Chingoka, the Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, has given an interview to Alex Brown in the Sydney Morning Herald, accompanied by some scathing editorial.

Chingoka is not the easiest person to interview; part obstinate, part evasive, part combative. Then again, if you were being asked to account for millions of dollars in missing funds - as well as a recent independent audit that allegedly uncovered "serious financial irregularities" within your organisation - you might be a little tetchy, too.

[He] is alleged to have siphoned money earmarked for grassroots cricket in Zimbabwe and, along with aide Ozias Bvute, feathered his own nest. While the country's cricketers are forced to play on unprepared wickets, with no scorers to maintain proper first-class records, Chingoka has stood impervious, safe in the knowledge that he still maintains full voting privileges on the International Cricket Council - the same as India, England and Australia - and therefore remains a sought-after ally. To sport-loving Zimbabweans, black and white, he is the Grinch who stole cricket.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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