August 10, 2005
Time for the ICC to review the state of play
New Zealand on the lookout for some meaningful opposition at Harare Sports Club ... sadly, their wait was in vain but not too prolonged
Martin Williamson's article on Zimbabwe's future as a Test-playing country in the light of their continuing dire performances attracted a considerable amount of feedback. Here is a selection of your comments
Let us know what you think
I am a Zimbabwean and feel this is just not cricket. With the current economic challenges facing our country,these sub standard players are waiting to get on to the international tours where they are paid in real money and don't give the requisite returns. Change the coach, captain etc and let them brush up their skills on A & B tours, hold the Tests for a while.
An absolute farce and the ICC must be held responsible. What will it take for the ICC to suspend Zmbabwe's Test status? Maybe a one day test match.Shame on the ICC for being cowardly and unauthorative. Statistics involving Zimbabwe are just stuffing up everything.
The ICC must be the most pathetic ruling body in international spot. Their craven attitude in the face of any controversy whether it be cricket in Zimbabwe, the strength (or not) of Zimbabwean or Bangladeshi cricket, corruption, the on-going crisis in the West Indies is either to back down or simply to hide under the covers and hope the problem goes away.
The loss to New Zealand continues the recent tragedy that is Zimbabwean cricket. And yet it is also a tragedy for a generation of players from around the world who forever will have their playing statistics 'spiked' by Zimbabwean results. All is tarnished in a world of averages.
As a Zimbabwean I was dismayed by the performance but I am sick and tired of the constant calls to have our test status removed. Cricket and rugby remain the only two sports with ridiculous elitist practices of segregating nations. This is why their popularity has not grown. Stripping Zimbabwe of it's well earned test status would be a step backwards. This said I would support Zimbabwe being suspended from all international cricket until our political problems are resolved. This situation has also turned every tour by or to Zimbabwe into a fiasco a situation that hardly lends itself to good cricket.
The views forwarded by the likes of Geoff Boycott are ignorant and simplistic as well as very unsympathetic. It is clear that people like this have no interest in having cricket grow beyond the Ashes . They have opposed Test status for every new nation that has earned it and would now like a long-standing status removed.
The decline of Zimbabwean cricket has got to be looked at in the full context of the political situation in the country, it is a symptom of a bigger problem and must not be viewed in isolation.
The ICC should feel utterly ashamed about its conduct towards Zimbabwean cricket on every level. I genuinely cannot fathom the motivation of the ICC in its stance towards Zimbabwean cricket: who exactly is meant to benefit from the continued farce of that country's participation in test cricket? Not the cricketers, who are subjected to serial humiliation, not the supporters, who don't bother to turn up to matches any more, not the integrity of the game, which is eroded which each farcical Test match.
It is not just a political issue. An over-emphasis on limited-overs cricket at school level and an intolerance of people whose faces do not fit (not just in terms of race) have eroded the player base. I know of several schoolboy players who deserved more of a chance than they got, but the system was stacked against them in favour of, perhaps, less talented players who went to the "right" schools. The result? Disillusionment with and abandonment of the game by more than a few young hopefuls.
Like so many things in the game of cricket has been reduced to the lowest common denominator and it is time to call it a day.
Thank you for your interesting article about the farce that is cricket in Zimbabwe. You state as part of a possible solution that they should maybe have less exposure to the 'big guns'. I'm a proud Kiwi, but realise that NZ is no "big gun", and yet we thrashed them. I watched the game and particularly when we were bowling there was no intensity. So back to my point, if they shouldn't play any 'big guns' and yet even NZ can beat them with their eyes closed, what did you have in mind? Two series a year against Bangladesh perhaps?
It is indeed a very painful situation Zimbabwean cricket finds itself in.A once tough and sometimes very competitive side is now the laughing stock of international cricket!
This is purely down to the lack of player depth due to the political situation in the country. The town leagues and the inter city National league (you could play against Old Georgians and they had six players with international experience) have all but collapsed. If the Zimbabwea Cricket Union was as good as Chingoka and other experts that now run this decrepit operation think, then where is the new crop of players that will carry the banner?They are no where to be found and unfortunately will never be found until the politicisation of the game is stopped. The ICC needs to have a long hard look at the situation because once Zimbabwe loses its Test status it will not get it back for a long time as the people who put cricket there are no longer around.
I don't like seeing it yet they have to have their Test licence revoked. Give them A tours again, and if they get to the stage where they are flogging A teams then give their status back. New Zealand aren't even the best team going around and they flogged them, humiliated them.
I am a Zimabwean living overseas now and still support my national cricket team as I had for the past 20-odd years. However, there is a difference between what was happening up until two or three years ago and what is happening now. They are getting humiliated practically every game and goodness knows what sort of mindset the players are in going onto that field knowing that they are most likely on a hiding to nothing. The maladministration of the ZCU has been going on for ages now and the ICC still refuses to take firm action. Zimbabwe must be stripped of Test status and given one-day status only, but perhaps still leaving the door open to them to return once they show improvements.
Come on ICC - get your act together and stop just thinking of monetry implications of having to cancel tours because in the long term you are just damaging the integrity of the game globally not just in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has a potential to build strong team which can compete at a higher level if given a chance. The recent thumping by New Zealand was just unfortunate.People must bear in mind that the team played on Sunday and Monday has not been together for a long time. Given two more years with these promising young players blended in with experienced players, Zimbabwe cricket can cause some major upset. I wish people could be patient just wait and see,it's always darkest before dawn.Please give them a chance they wont dissapoint. International exposure is good forn the team.
Come on ICC- wake up. Cant you see whats happening to cricket in what was once a half decent test side. Oh, and if and when you do wake up to the "real" world in Zimbabwe could you please tell Bush and Blair.
It seems obvious that the only way cricket in Zimbabwe will survive at a competitive level is to combine its international cricket team with that of Kenya's and, perhaps, any other African nations that can supply good players into a West Indies-style federated team. That might keep interest alive in Zimbabwe and help the game's growth in other countries. As it stands at the moment it's Last Post.
The sensible solution to the wide variation in skill among the test playing nations is to create a two tier classification, taking a lesson from English soccer. Teams could be moved up and down according to achievement.
I agree that whereas is likely to improve, the political situation in is such that competitive test cricket is now beyond Zimbabwe with no immediate (or distant) prospect of recovery.
I think the ICC needs to adjust its policy towards Zimbabwe over the next few years by supporting tours without Tests. What counts the most is that touring sides visit with a view to coaching and encouraging local players to participate in a series of first-class matches.
The standard of cricket in Zimbabwe needs to be raised. Let the stronger teams set the example and do something for the game, not just for their averages and pocketbook.
I feel it's high time the ICC seriously looks into this matter. You can't let this go on for any longer. The Zimbabwe team is just not going anywhere and the ICC's plan to globalise the game might come back to haunt them. You can't downgrade the game by letting this go on.
The history of cricket is dented when teams far below par are playing. Statistics are an important part of the game, despite what some players say. Matthew Hayden scored 380 against Zimbabwe two years ago. This does not stack up against Lara's 375, Len Hutton's 364 etc. It devalues the game, the records become out of kilter and undeserved so to speak, there's too much amazing history in the game we don't want that devalued.
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