Future of Zimbabwe cricket June 27, 2008

Chingoka urges ICC not to make political decision

Cricinfo staff

Peter Chingoka: robust defence of Zimbabwe's position © Getty Images
Peter Chingoka, Zimbabwe Cricket's chairman, has written to all the members of the ICC executive claiming that any move to ban Zimbabwe would be made for political and not cricketing reasons.

Chingoka, who faces a motion to discuss Zimbabwe's status tabled by his friend and ICC president Ray Mali, pointed out that there were no moves to ban Zimbabwe from other international sporting events or organisations.

He maintained what he has always said, that Zimbabwe Cricket was an apolitical organisation that could not be held responsible for the political turmoil inside the country.

Earlier this week Cricket South Africa suspended all bilateral agreements with Zimbabwe Cricket, and England cancelled the proposed tour by Zimbabwe due in May 2009.

Chingoka's claims were attacked by a former senior administrator who worked closely with him on the board but did not want to be named for fear of his safety. "The reality is that nobody survives inside Zimbabwe today unless they are linked to the ruling elite, especially in an organisation with access to precious foreign currency. The board are heavily politicised and anyone who suggests otherwise is blind. Chingoka and his cronies are desperate to portray an image of a brave souls standing up for cricket against tremendous odds. The reality is the quite the opposite."

And a former Zimbabwe Test player, who also requested anonymity, was equally forthright. "The board has destroyed grassroots cricket here and all that is left is a paper-thin veneer of normality. These guys have caused the world game, not to mention the ICC, no end of embarrassment and they've not even done so in defence of cricket. It's all about self interest. Nobody wants to play us, nobody wants to tour here. What's the point of maintaining this charade?"

No spokesman from Zimbabwe Cricket was prepared to speak to Cricinfo.