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
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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lloyd on August 14, 2008, 4:09 GMT

    I hope India decides to take a strong stand when it comes to getting cricket into the 2012 Olympics.At Cricket2012Games.com we believe this is where it's in India,and other South Asian countries,interests to determine what happens with cricket,and the Olympics."Sports" played in the Olympics are European-biased - here is where India needs to take a stand.

  • dr_Love on July 14, 2008, 18:06 GMT

    You will see in future ban drugs scandals will a lot happen in IPL. The best thing to avoid these things, PCB should ban all their players for IPL. Asif gone I am very happy, but I have feelings it could happen frequently to new Pakistani start fast bowlers like new Wasim Akram (Muhammad Aamer) in future. I am not saying BCCI could involve in these things, but in all subcontinent countries except Sri Lanka these things will happen so often against good players in future in tournaments like IPL, PPL(Pak premium league), BPL(BD premium league), Etc. only SPL is the safe for players of all countries. There are so many bad and match fixer mafias in these countries who can use girls to put some ban drugs mixed with sweet in your can of soda, glass of juice or more easy to mix things in glass of beer and wine. Mark my words u will see these things so frequently in future IPLs. So my advice to Pakistani players is, be careful during IPL.

  • Ahad on July 10, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    The way that ind and bang were defeated by Pak proves that Nasir Jamshed deserves a place in the team.remember that he didn't get out in those 2 innings.After years of searching I think Pakistan have found an excelling opening pair.Of course,2 innings doesn't really make a difference but we have the NZ series in AUG.Younis Khan in excellent form, Yousuf is a person who never loses his form or finds it back fast even if he manages to lose it. Abdur Rauf.also good enough.although needs some training for death Overs.Wahab Riaz, shouldn't be in Pak side, not yet.And don't forget Gul and Sohail Khan, they're not out of the team..just injuries.There are 2 huge questions..Kamran or Sarfraz and Afridi or not?? Afridi..well, if you think of him as a bowler rather than an all rounder,that would prove much better.that i'll leave it up to you guys to decide.Sarfraz would be preffered because Keeping is more imp. than batting.kamran lacks keeping skills.SB, NJ, YK, MY, SM, M-U-H, ST, SA, AR, UG, MA.

  • Faridoon on July 8, 2008, 9:31 GMT

    Where does Sri Lanka get these bowlers???

    First it was Serpent Murali (or the spitting cobra), then Whiplash Malinga, and now its Carom Mendis! Someone forgot to tell this chap that this is not taped tennis ball cricket! What next? a bowler who runs in backwards and bowls while facing long-off? or someone who bowls from between his legs?

    Just kidding above. I think it's great for cricket, keeps the game fresh. In a batsman- dominated game it's good to see bowlers like Mendis, Malinga and Tanvir (of course) doing things differently.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 6:25 GMT

    And here comes the revelation of the week...by Indian skipper and now resting on the sidelines still concussed from the mendis-bruising, MS Dhoni revealed yesterday that "we could not pick Mendis!" lol. Sure it did not look the other way round, watching the brilliantly-bungled run-chase in progress. I believe Indians missed a trick by playing just 7 specialist batsmen - they should have played at least 9 and seen how Mendis can still go through them like a combine harvester ;) Talking of Pak thrashing India and Bangladesh in the last two matches, Nasir seems a welcome addition to the ranks and Rauf with his height and accuracy still has three or four years of solid cricket left in him. Anyhow, let's wish dithering India all the best on their forthcoming tour to SL as prospects look rather bleak for them now and it won't surprise a jot if the guy with a permanently-modified tennis elbow stays away from the scene for touch longer given the appearance of Mendis in the opposition ranks..

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 5:54 GMT

    It's rather funny how apt and swift been the humbling of some Indian fans here who started their regular chants of "Number 2 team" (whatever that means!)....a royal spanking from Nasir, YK (that Indian-basher again!), and Misbah and then the humiliation of losing the Final so comprehensively. That just serves as a stark reminder to the Indian fans of how inconsistent their team is. A word about Yuvraj Singh - surely showed some grace how he fielded arms to tre-mendis! 24-odd finals since '99 and just 2 wins - goes to show too who are the true "Chokers" of international cricket. :p Playing 7 specialist batsmen and made to look like bamboozled school kids by a rookie must have hurt Indian cricket ego big time.

  • Shoaib Mailk on July 7, 2008, 14:49 GMT

    As captain of the team I feel its my responsibility to denounce anything and everything immoral and unethical. If Zimbabwe has been isolated by the world to mend their ways, then why should ICC be a platform to provide them with money? Lets not forget ICC makes its money from gatemoney on matches as well. So next time you go to a cricket match, beware that a portion of that ticket cost would go to Mugabe. I am sure that is an uneasy feeling for us all. However because our chairman is busy politicising every single issue, he has once again played into India's hands. Once again he has denied PCB to grow out of India's shadow. Lets not forget, all these Asian countries are top corrupt countries in the world. Asking them to take a moral stand is pointless. Maybe a new Chairman with better leadership qualities might do the trick. But that possibility seems remote since everyone at the top is making merry. Regards Shoaib Malik

  • ahmed on July 5, 2008, 1:28 GMT

    Lol! A minnow defeated the strongest team by eight wickets and 6 overs to spare. Do not write Pak off, still lot of cricket is left. A strong, creative captain and with top fitness of palyers, Pak can once again be among the top three.

  • irfan on July 4, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    Wow! Pakistani team! great game against Bangladesh! Kill these minnows they deserve it! Only play on Pakistani pitches that's a sure recipe to success no matter how short lived it is.

    A captain who has a heart that of a rate even in front of his home crowd and home pitches. Couldn't face a stiffer challenge and stayed away from a competition that in my estimation will see the rise of a new captain. All our batting dilemmas seem to have disappeared with Salman and Younis firing but I hold my breath when they face quality bowling and foreign pitches. Again to me it is not about winning the competition or a match but the manner in which you loose it or win it. Infusion of the young blood has paid off it was a nice stage for both Rauf and Nasir but donot forget Fawad Alam and please lets plan as many away tours as possible to give these young guys exposure to the real world cricket.

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on July 4, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    Dear Kamran, pls pls pls write something about PCB preventing Sohail going to Hampshire. This would have polished his skills further. At the same time a Pakistani player would have been represented in UK and perhaps boosted Pakistan’s declining image that Pakistan only produce radicals and fundamentalists.

    PCB also prevented Majid heading ICC cricket committee. Personal grudges of DNA towards others will leave Pakistan totally isolated from ICC.

    Pls pls write something on this topic.

  • Lloyd on August 14, 2008, 4:09 GMT

    I hope India decides to take a strong stand when it comes to getting cricket into the 2012 Olympics.At Cricket2012Games.com we believe this is where it's in India,and other South Asian countries,interests to determine what happens with cricket,and the Olympics."Sports" played in the Olympics are European-biased - here is where India needs to take a stand.

  • dr_Love on July 14, 2008, 18:06 GMT

    You will see in future ban drugs scandals will a lot happen in IPL. The best thing to avoid these things, PCB should ban all their players for IPL. Asif gone I am very happy, but I have feelings it could happen frequently to new Pakistani start fast bowlers like new Wasim Akram (Muhammad Aamer) in future. I am not saying BCCI could involve in these things, but in all subcontinent countries except Sri Lanka these things will happen so often against good players in future in tournaments like IPL, PPL(Pak premium league), BPL(BD premium league), Etc. only SPL is the safe for players of all countries. There are so many bad and match fixer mafias in these countries who can use girls to put some ban drugs mixed with sweet in your can of soda, glass of juice or more easy to mix things in glass of beer and wine. Mark my words u will see these things so frequently in future IPLs. So my advice to Pakistani players is, be careful during IPL.

  • Ahad on July 10, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    The way that ind and bang were defeated by Pak proves that Nasir Jamshed deserves a place in the team.remember that he didn't get out in those 2 innings.After years of searching I think Pakistan have found an excelling opening pair.Of course,2 innings doesn't really make a difference but we have the NZ series in AUG.Younis Khan in excellent form, Yousuf is a person who never loses his form or finds it back fast even if he manages to lose it. Abdur Rauf.also good enough.although needs some training for death Overs.Wahab Riaz, shouldn't be in Pak side, not yet.And don't forget Gul and Sohail Khan, they're not out of the team..just injuries.There are 2 huge questions..Kamran or Sarfraz and Afridi or not?? Afridi..well, if you think of him as a bowler rather than an all rounder,that would prove much better.that i'll leave it up to you guys to decide.Sarfraz would be preffered because Keeping is more imp. than batting.kamran lacks keeping skills.SB, NJ, YK, MY, SM, M-U-H, ST, SA, AR, UG, MA.

  • Faridoon on July 8, 2008, 9:31 GMT

    Where does Sri Lanka get these bowlers???

    First it was Serpent Murali (or the spitting cobra), then Whiplash Malinga, and now its Carom Mendis! Someone forgot to tell this chap that this is not taped tennis ball cricket! What next? a bowler who runs in backwards and bowls while facing long-off? or someone who bowls from between his legs?

    Just kidding above. I think it's great for cricket, keeps the game fresh. In a batsman- dominated game it's good to see bowlers like Mendis, Malinga and Tanvir (of course) doing things differently.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 6:25 GMT

    And here comes the revelation of the week...by Indian skipper and now resting on the sidelines still concussed from the mendis-bruising, MS Dhoni revealed yesterday that "we could not pick Mendis!" lol. Sure it did not look the other way round, watching the brilliantly-bungled run-chase in progress. I believe Indians missed a trick by playing just 7 specialist batsmen - they should have played at least 9 and seen how Mendis can still go through them like a combine harvester ;) Talking of Pak thrashing India and Bangladesh in the last two matches, Nasir seems a welcome addition to the ranks and Rauf with his height and accuracy still has three or four years of solid cricket left in him. Anyhow, let's wish dithering India all the best on their forthcoming tour to SL as prospects look rather bleak for them now and it won't surprise a jot if the guy with a permanently-modified tennis elbow stays away from the scene for touch longer given the appearance of Mendis in the opposition ranks..

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 5:54 GMT

    It's rather funny how apt and swift been the humbling of some Indian fans here who started their regular chants of "Number 2 team" (whatever that means!)....a royal spanking from Nasir, YK (that Indian-basher again!), and Misbah and then the humiliation of losing the Final so comprehensively. That just serves as a stark reminder to the Indian fans of how inconsistent their team is. A word about Yuvraj Singh - surely showed some grace how he fielded arms to tre-mendis! 24-odd finals since '99 and just 2 wins - goes to show too who are the true "Chokers" of international cricket. :p Playing 7 specialist batsmen and made to look like bamboozled school kids by a rookie must have hurt Indian cricket ego big time.

  • Shoaib Mailk on July 7, 2008, 14:49 GMT

    As captain of the team I feel its my responsibility to denounce anything and everything immoral and unethical. If Zimbabwe has been isolated by the world to mend their ways, then why should ICC be a platform to provide them with money? Lets not forget ICC makes its money from gatemoney on matches as well. So next time you go to a cricket match, beware that a portion of that ticket cost would go to Mugabe. I am sure that is an uneasy feeling for us all. However because our chairman is busy politicising every single issue, he has once again played into India's hands. Once again he has denied PCB to grow out of India's shadow. Lets not forget, all these Asian countries are top corrupt countries in the world. Asking them to take a moral stand is pointless. Maybe a new Chairman with better leadership qualities might do the trick. But that possibility seems remote since everyone at the top is making merry. Regards Shoaib Malik

  • ahmed on July 5, 2008, 1:28 GMT

    Lol! A minnow defeated the strongest team by eight wickets and 6 overs to spare. Do not write Pak off, still lot of cricket is left. A strong, creative captain and with top fitness of palyers, Pak can once again be among the top three.

  • irfan on July 4, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    Wow! Pakistani team! great game against Bangladesh! Kill these minnows they deserve it! Only play on Pakistani pitches that's a sure recipe to success no matter how short lived it is.

    A captain who has a heart that of a rate even in front of his home crowd and home pitches. Couldn't face a stiffer challenge and stayed away from a competition that in my estimation will see the rise of a new captain. All our batting dilemmas seem to have disappeared with Salman and Younis firing but I hold my breath when they face quality bowling and foreign pitches. Again to me it is not about winning the competition or a match but the manner in which you loose it or win it. Infusion of the young blood has paid off it was a nice stage for both Rauf and Nasir but donot forget Fawad Alam and please lets plan as many away tours as possible to give these young guys exposure to the real world cricket.

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on July 4, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    Dear Kamran, pls pls pls write something about PCB preventing Sohail going to Hampshire. This would have polished his skills further. At the same time a Pakistani player would have been represented in UK and perhaps boosted Pakistan’s declining image that Pakistan only produce radicals and fundamentalists.

    PCB also prevented Majid heading ICC cricket committee. Personal grudges of DNA towards others will leave Pakistan totally isolated from ICC.

    Pls pls write something on this topic.

  • Mikso Mocha on July 4, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    The minnows Ban/Pak/HK/UAE are out of Asiacup and the two strongest teams in asian subcontinent are in finals.

  • Nasir on July 3, 2008, 22:42 GMT

    Now that Pakistan is out of Asia cup, dont you think its time to discuss what happened.

  • Pradeep on July 1, 2008, 11:48 GMT

    I absolutely agree with Ray. Do I think BCCI backing ZC is wrong? No, since the vote is important for India it makes sense to back them. Of course all western countries would do the same if a choice changes the power equation. South Africa has to make a different choice purely due to the political pressure and the issues/violence they are undergoing due to infiltration of zimbabweans.

  • Ray on July 1, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    BCCI support for ZC has less to do with race and more to do with having its way within the ICC via a ready ZC vote. That said, some gems:

    Zaid_SRI LANKA "all pak supporters,will come jointly shout for ASIM KAMAL who is talented batsmen and who shouldn't be wasted like misbah" Do you have any idea what is being discussed here?

    Then JAVED A KHAN "what's wrong in their demand to have more participation from black ethnic group?" Nothing, Javed, except that as usual you missed the point by miles. Many ways to achieve favorable majority participation (quota systems, reservations) but taking away what's not yours through murder is not one of them.

    Javed again "Every country makes its own laws and in one way or other they are biased and have racial discrimination through racial profiling etc." Ridiculous statement by someone living in Canada. Countries that deliberately shut out large minorities via law can hardly be used as an ideal.

  • Ali Dada on June 30, 2008, 18:41 GMT

    I don't know about politics but to me, Zimbabwe does not deserve to play as a full member.

    Teams like UAE, Kenya, and Ireland deserve that honour or atleast a shot at it.

    To support Zimbabwe is damaging for cricket. That team (Zimbabwe) is not going to improve as they have too many problems.

    Pakistan should not support India on the Zimbabwe issue or the ICL issue. To give a certain member too much power or authority is not healthy.

    Because of our ban to ICL, we have lost quality players such as Abdur Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed, and Azhar Mahmood.

    ICC should also expand the number of test+ODI playing nations. Otherwise how are we going to expand cricket globally?

    Just imagine if teams such as Nigeria, Indonesia, and China are allowed to play. They have HUGE populations and if they are allowed to 'hire' players from cricket-playing nations, they can be formiddable opponents and revenues will grow quickly and sharply.

  • mohsin afridi from Goa on June 30, 2008, 11:35 GMT

    One fluke Kitply final win made Pakistan the best team in world according to Paki bloggers. Javed from Montreal and others had a lot to talk . suddenly all seem to have got work and hiding their faces:P:P LOL Wow a dedicated bunch of fair weather fans Pakistan seems to have got. The great Afridi proved once again he is miss-hit player. Plays a match winning innings once in 50 games by fluke. Just proves Pakistan is best team of course but not in world but amongst Zimbabwe , Bang ,Kenya etc and that too when Ireland plays they get really nervous;)

  • M Nashad Munas on June 30, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    I am a fan of Pakistan from the days i start watching cricket nowadays i am disappointed the way they play their cricket. This is mainly the team doesn't use the correct asset at the correct time. Players like Afridi is wasted and i don't know why he is wasted down the order in flat pitches.For my concern he is only player i have seen that even if he gets a duck in one match in any situation he gets the maximum support when he walks out to bat in the next match.Bob Woolmer is the only coach who used him in a proper manner and got success.On the other hand he should play test cricket to regain form.Players like Kamran should be in the team.And bat down the order then his wicket keeping will never be effected.Find talents at the right position.For me best batting order for Pakistan even for the next game against India would be.1.Jamshed 2.Afridi 3.Younis 4.Yousuf 5.Misbah 6.Malik 7.Thanveer 8.Shafraz 9.Amjad 10.Riaz 11.Rao. Pakistan should rock always at any given time. Thank You

  • Kiwi Wonder on June 30, 2008, 4:47 GMT

    Its funny how Pakistan win match by fluke and 100s of bloggers come out claiming Pakistan are best team in world. The actual quality and position Pakistan in Asia is shown by this tournament. As low as Bangladesh one would say if not on par with Bangladesh.

  • top paki on June 29, 2008, 18:56 GMT

    It seems as if the Pakistanis are taking steps to replace international injured and banned bowlers with underdeveloped yet not without potential bowlers such as Riaz. Riaz should have a few more years in domestic circuit, he bowls too short and needs variation.

    Fawad Alam: Left handed batsmen who seems like an anchoring batsman, too small in height to hit big but good at piercing the field and taking singles ala collingwood. Pakistan should groom him as a future middle order batsman. His bowling lacks venom and one line and length means he is easily picked. Brilliant fielder. Another find for Pakistan in a difficult year.

    what happened to asim kamal and abdur rehman, sohail khan also showed potential and seems a better bowler than Riaz, where is he? Also Pakistan should replace Ashraf with a former cricketer chairman, Ashraf has no clue about cricket since he has never played the game, the tactic of making Malik a scapegoat captain is dirty and should be stopped.

  • top paki on June 29, 2008, 18:46 GMT

    Sohail Tanvir: Amongst another bad year for Pakistan cricket, Tanvir must be the biggest positive for the team. a competent bowler who uses different angles and changes of pace along with a lethal yorker to take wickets, his 55 against hong kong was like a specialist batsman's knock. However, he has a tendency to go off the boil when he starts to get hit. However the potential to become an irfan pathan (but a better bowler) is definitely there. lets watch and wait.

    Rao Anjum: perhaps Pakistan's dark horse in the current bowling crop, he bowls with a good action, gets seam but doesn't have enough variation to survive against better batsmen. Someone who should rightly so remain a back up bowler. Never a front line one. A failed product of Pakistan's supposed limitless pace production line who has shown potential but never class.

    Wahab Riaz: A left hander who has come too early into the international game, his call up is reminiscent of Zimbabwe's mass call up after the rebels left.

  • top paki on June 29, 2008, 18:33 GMT

    Afridi should be taken out now, he should go to icl or something where the players reputation counts for nothing and where form counts for everything, Afridi wont get picked and he will learn his lesson, the senior players know that they wont lose their place, so they don't even try to give a good performance, the PCB is way too lenient.

    Mansoor Amjad: young player, like tanvir he represents a new generation, potential with both bat and ball if his first class record is anything to go by, has enough variation in his bowling if his two matches are anything to go by. I cant say much but keep watching.

    Sarfaraz Ahmed: an able replacement for Akmal, but i still believe Akmal the better choice, his keeping had started to improve before the cricket board dropped him and Ahmed hasn't exactly been successful in his first two Asia cup matches. And as far as batting goes, based on Sarfarazs two innings i have seen, its a no-brainier for me who the better batsman is.

  • top paki on June 29, 2008, 18:20 GMT

    Yousuf has a tendency to play as if he is playing for no real reason, either the pay is not good enough or Yousuf just doesn't care about playing to keep his place as he knows he will always get picked because he is Pakistan's premier batsman.

    Misbah ul huq: strictly a T20 and perhaps a test batsmen, hasn't yet showed an ability to construct an innings (he has got ample opportunities against lesser nations) and seems to play as a finisher in odis, not good enough when your in the team as a batsman.

    Shahid Afridi: Ive heard a lot of things about this guy, such as he should be the captain. What a joke, as far as i am concerned he shouldn't even make it to the A side let alone the national side. His batting is hit and miss (more miss since the champions trophy 2006), his bowling is ineffective against the top order of top nations and nowhere does it deserve the number 7 ranking for odi bowlers it has. He fields as if he is never giving 100 percent.

  • top paki on June 29, 2008, 18:01 GMT

    My evaluation of the Pakistani current cricket team:

    Shoaib M: Good as an opener, mature when in that position, although the captaincy has made him a better batsmen, he has lost the big shots as part of responsibility but for me he remains Pakistan's most dependable batsmen after Yousuf. He a no good captain and bowler,must get back the doosra which i remember he bowled early in his career. by far he is Pakistan's best fielder.

    Salman Butt: a useless batsmen unless he is on a flat pitch and that too against India or Bangladesh, allow him some more chances, but drop him if it continues in favor of khalid latif or Jamshed.

    Younis khan: Average batsmen who succumbs to pressure albeit on a few occasions. Shouldn't be in the ODI side as he has a tendency to get tied down very quickly. Good fielder and has potential with the ball when bowling seam up.

    Yousuf: perhaps the only player in the side who deserves outright respect, conversion to Islam has made him a better player.

  • Jason on June 27, 2008, 8:49 GMT

    Like NeutralObserver, I am also a neutral observer. My country only has affiliate status and has no current or recent allegations of human rights violations, and no one charged with cricket corruption. It sounds like most people have no idea what is going on in Zimbabwe. The only people who don't face starvation daily are Mugabe and his inner circle. This isn't about the ICC playing politics, it is about voting to cut off funding that assists a lunatic despot to retain power to abuse his own people, of his own race. Whites ceased being part of that equation years ago. Mugabe threw the white farmers out and told them to hit up Elizabeth II for financial compensation. Then he gave the land, not to the common folk, but to his non-farmer family and friends. The country isn't even capable of producing its own food. At this point Zim cricketers are more concerned about where their next meal is coming from, than where their next match is being held.

  • Rohit Sharma on June 27, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    Another Medicore performance by Pakistan at Karachi.At least they are consistent in medicore performances. The 21 year old kid Raina just spanked the bowlers all around the park and for Sehwag... he is delighted to have his bunny team dish out a flat track. What were the Pakistanis afraid of in making a green track.??....Perhaps still haunted by Ireland loss....Anyway batting track idea backfired big time with India wrapping it up comfortably by 42nd over....Just proves Kitply final was a fluke victory due to some rare sporadic brilliance by a couple of Pak's players

  • NeutralObserver on June 26, 2008, 18:08 GMT

    Dear Javed Khan its not about race its about one zillion percentage inflation in Zimbabwe.Its about forcing somebody out of their Land in 21 century. Its about forceful occupation of the seat. India always supported Pakistan in most of the dispute with ICC.In 1996 they played that show match in Pakistan with Srilanka to show their solidarity what else is expected? If Asian bloc supports Zimbabwe in any capacity that means we are not appalled by what is happening there which is an absolute disgrace. If boycotting South Africa was the right thing to do why doing the same thing is different now!!!!

  • Anil on June 26, 2008, 14:27 GMT

    I'm not sure if sporting boycotts are the way to remove governments and if I'm not wrong, this is the demand being made here. I think this would set a dangerous precedent of sports being used for politics. Its one thing for individual governments to ask their national teams not to tour as a way of registering protest but for the sporting community itself to try and use the sport as a way to bring about regime change would set a dangerous precedent.

    I heartily despise the Mugabe government as well but would hesitate to recommend that the BCCI refuse to tour Zimbabwe. If the Indian government (as it rightly should) chose to tell the BCCI that they will not sanction any sporting contact so as to pressure the rogue government through international isolation, I'm al for it.

    Leave politics to the politicians.

  • Rauf on June 26, 2008, 9:06 GMT

    Save your breath Kamran as integrity/morals or any other lofty words and cricket should not be used in the same sentence these days.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on June 25, 2008, 19:43 GMT

    Kamran what integrity and what morals are you talking about? The principles of morals are the same as the principles of behavior which are based on the concepts of right and wrong and who is to determine who is right and who is wrong? The point is, out of the 13 million population of Zimbabwe, the black ethnic group makes up 98.5%, so what is wrong in their demand to have more participation from the black ethnic group? Each country is a stage, a setting, for a part of our human world-drama. Each stage has territorial boundaries, often unguarded, yet terribly important; and more important still are the boundaries of thought, feeling and freedom. Have people forgotten how the whites treated the blacks in the Union of South Africa? Every country makes its own laws and in one way or the other they are biased and have racial discrimination through racial profiling etc. The issue of race always receives an enormous amount of attention especially when it is against the whites. The racial issue in Zimbabwe has been dragged from the political arena to the sports arena and what they are doing is not cricket. Since the sacking of the white captain Heath Streak in 2004 this problem has suddenly become a racial problem because other players also joined him and its going on and on. On the subject of Asia and India in particular must show its leadership based on values is nothing more than a lip service. Because, whenever there is time to support any Asian country, India as always takes sides with the ICC, who in turn always support openly teams like Australia and England and umpires like Darrel Hair. I reckon on Inzamam and Hair issue,Niranjan Shah straightway commented that India will take sides with the ICC. Later the BCCI changed stance with time and tide. So, please don't butter them for being big and rich and morals cannot be bought by finances.

  • Zaid_SRI LANKA on June 25, 2008, 15:40 GMT

    Unlike countries like Australia,New Zealand and etc we Asians should respect cricket and not anything else,we see Australia and New Zealand very much bothered about the champions trophy in pak.why should we Asians be like them? also i was happy seeing some sri lankans in this column(HASEEF,IJAZ,ZAHEER)in kamran's last article.guys by the all pak supporters,will come jointly shout for ASIM KAMAL who is a talented batsmen and who shouldn't be wasted like misbah

  • Anjo on June 25, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    Was it ever really a race game? I find it hard to believe that India's (and the entire Asian bloc) actions and stance to date were racially motivated. Zimbabwe must be banned, the same way South Africa were banned for their stance on apartheid. And above all the ICC must cut all funding until they can be absolutely sure that the funds are only being used to benefit cricket in Zimbabwe. Will Modi ever be able to justify banning the ICL and not Zimbabwe?

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  • Anjo on June 25, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    Was it ever really a race game? I find it hard to believe that India's (and the entire Asian bloc) actions and stance to date were racially motivated. Zimbabwe must be banned, the same way South Africa were banned for their stance on apartheid. And above all the ICC must cut all funding until they can be absolutely sure that the funds are only being used to benefit cricket in Zimbabwe. Will Modi ever be able to justify banning the ICL and not Zimbabwe?

  • Zaid_SRI LANKA on June 25, 2008, 15:40 GMT

    Unlike countries like Australia,New Zealand and etc we Asians should respect cricket and not anything else,we see Australia and New Zealand very much bothered about the champions trophy in pak.why should we Asians be like them? also i was happy seeing some sri lankans in this column(HASEEF,IJAZ,ZAHEER)in kamran's last article.guys by the all pak supporters,will come jointly shout for ASIM KAMAL who is a talented batsmen and who shouldn't be wasted like misbah

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on June 25, 2008, 19:43 GMT

    Kamran what integrity and what morals are you talking about? The principles of morals are the same as the principles of behavior which are based on the concepts of right and wrong and who is to determine who is right and who is wrong? The point is, out of the 13 million population of Zimbabwe, the black ethnic group makes up 98.5%, so what is wrong in their demand to have more participation from the black ethnic group? Each country is a stage, a setting, for a part of our human world-drama. Each stage has territorial boundaries, often unguarded, yet terribly important; and more important still are the boundaries of thought, feeling and freedom. Have people forgotten how the whites treated the blacks in the Union of South Africa? Every country makes its own laws and in one way or the other they are biased and have racial discrimination through racial profiling etc. The issue of race always receives an enormous amount of attention especially when it is against the whites. The racial issue in Zimbabwe has been dragged from the political arena to the sports arena and what they are doing is not cricket. Since the sacking of the white captain Heath Streak in 2004 this problem has suddenly become a racial problem because other players also joined him and its going on and on. On the subject of Asia and India in particular must show its leadership based on values is nothing more than a lip service. Because, whenever there is time to support any Asian country, India as always takes sides with the ICC, who in turn always support openly teams like Australia and England and umpires like Darrel Hair. I reckon on Inzamam and Hair issue,Niranjan Shah straightway commented that India will take sides with the ICC. Later the BCCI changed stance with time and tide. So, please don't butter them for being big and rich and morals cannot be bought by finances.

  • Rauf on June 26, 2008, 9:06 GMT

    Save your breath Kamran as integrity/morals or any other lofty words and cricket should not be used in the same sentence these days.

  • Anil on June 26, 2008, 14:27 GMT

    I'm not sure if sporting boycotts are the way to remove governments and if I'm not wrong, this is the demand being made here. I think this would set a dangerous precedent of sports being used for politics. Its one thing for individual governments to ask their national teams not to tour as a way of registering protest but for the sporting community itself to try and use the sport as a way to bring about regime change would set a dangerous precedent.

    I heartily despise the Mugabe government as well but would hesitate to recommend that the BCCI refuse to tour Zimbabwe. If the Indian government (as it rightly should) chose to tell the BCCI that they will not sanction any sporting contact so as to pressure the rogue government through international isolation, I'm al for it.

    Leave politics to the politicians.

  • NeutralObserver on June 26, 2008, 18:08 GMT

    Dear Javed Khan its not about race its about one zillion percentage inflation in Zimbabwe.Its about forcing somebody out of their Land in 21 century. Its about forceful occupation of the seat. India always supported Pakistan in most of the dispute with ICC.In 1996 they played that show match in Pakistan with Srilanka to show their solidarity what else is expected? If Asian bloc supports Zimbabwe in any capacity that means we are not appalled by what is happening there which is an absolute disgrace. If boycotting South Africa was the right thing to do why doing the same thing is different now!!!!

  • Rohit Sharma on June 27, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    Another Medicore performance by Pakistan at Karachi.At least they are consistent in medicore performances. The 21 year old kid Raina just spanked the bowlers all around the park and for Sehwag... he is delighted to have his bunny team dish out a flat track. What were the Pakistanis afraid of in making a green track.??....Perhaps still haunted by Ireland loss....Anyway batting track idea backfired big time with India wrapping it up comfortably by 42nd over....Just proves Kitply final was a fluke victory due to some rare sporadic brilliance by a couple of Pak's players

  • Jason on June 27, 2008, 8:49 GMT

    Like NeutralObserver, I am also a neutral observer. My country only has affiliate status and has no current or recent allegations of human rights violations, and no one charged with cricket corruption. It sounds like most people have no idea what is going on in Zimbabwe. The only people who don't face starvation daily are Mugabe and his inner circle. This isn't about the ICC playing politics, it is about voting to cut off funding that assists a lunatic despot to retain power to abuse his own people, of his own race. Whites ceased being part of that equation years ago. Mugabe threw the white farmers out and told them to hit up Elizabeth II for financial compensation. Then he gave the land, not to the common folk, but to his non-farmer family and friends. The country isn't even capable of producing its own food. At this point Zim cricketers are more concerned about where their next meal is coming from, than where their next match is being held.

  • top paki on June 29, 2008, 18:01 GMT

    My evaluation of the Pakistani current cricket team:

    Shoaib M: Good as an opener, mature when in that position, although the captaincy has made him a better batsmen, he has lost the big shots as part of responsibility but for me he remains Pakistan's most dependable batsmen after Yousuf. He a no good captain and bowler,must get back the doosra which i remember he bowled early in his career. by far he is Pakistan's best fielder.

    Salman Butt: a useless batsmen unless he is on a flat pitch and that too against India or Bangladesh, allow him some more chances, but drop him if it continues in favor of khalid latif or Jamshed.

    Younis khan: Average batsmen who succumbs to pressure albeit on a few occasions. Shouldn't be in the ODI side as he has a tendency to get tied down very quickly. Good fielder and has potential with the ball when bowling seam up.

    Yousuf: perhaps the only player in the side who deserves outright respect, conversion to Islam has made him a better player.

  • top paki on June 29, 2008, 18:20 GMT

    Yousuf has a tendency to play as if he is playing for no real reason, either the pay is not good enough or Yousuf just doesn't care about playing to keep his place as he knows he will always get picked because he is Pakistan's premier batsman.

    Misbah ul huq: strictly a T20 and perhaps a test batsmen, hasn't yet showed an ability to construct an innings (he has got ample opportunities against lesser nations) and seems to play as a finisher in odis, not good enough when your in the team as a batsman.

    Shahid Afridi: Ive heard a lot of things about this guy, such as he should be the captain. What a joke, as far as i am concerned he shouldn't even make it to the A side let alone the national side. His batting is hit and miss (more miss since the champions trophy 2006), his bowling is ineffective against the top order of top nations and nowhere does it deserve the number 7 ranking for odi bowlers it has. He fields as if he is never giving 100 percent.