Politics June 25, 2008

Asia must choose morals over race

Asia must show its leadership can be based on values, and this is the easiest test of leadership it could face

Zimbabwe has always enjoyed the support of Asian cricket boards. I have also argued in the past that cricket links should be maintained despite Robert Mugabe's regime. But the Zimbabwe political crisis is at a point which makes the decision a clear one for cricket boards in all countries. England were among the most likely to pursue a boycott but the South African decision - as well as statements from political leaders in South Africa - is the most significant turning point.

The political situation in Zimbabwe and the actions of the other cricket boards should be a sufficient steer for Asia's cricket administrators. This is not a time to play out a race game in the ICC or worry about accusations of hypocrisy. Asia, and in particular India, must show that its aspirations to lead international cricket into a new world are propped up by substance. And this substance is not one of populations or finances. It is the substance of integrity and morals.

Asia must show its leadership can be based on values, and this is the easiest test of leadership it could face.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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