Mukul Kesavan Mukul KesavanRSS FeedFeeds  | Archives
Novelist, essayist and historian based in New Delhi

The politics of morality

The West's hypocrisy over Zimbabwe may feel obnoxious, but the BCCI has to decide whether it wishes to be the patron-in-chief of a dysfunctional and compromised cricket body

Mukul Kesavan

July 3, 2008

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Robert Mugabe's reign over Zimbabwe continues unabated © AFP

In the late-seventies, when governments in southern Africa came in white racist flavours, Robert Mugabe was a hero. Leftist undergraduates in my university preferred him to Joshua Nkomo, his rival in the Rhodesian resistance movement, because he seemed more unequivocally red. And in the matter of winning liberation from white tyranny, Zimbabwe led the way: it achieved majority rule in 1980, more than ten years before its larger neighbour, South Africa. Just thinking about that time raises ancient memories: the wonderfully named first president of Zimbabwe, Canaan Banana; the leader of the Patriotic Front, Bishop Muzorewa; the new place names - Zimbabwe, Harare - that seemed so unlikely then, but which so swiftly replaced Rhodesia and Salisbury in our maps and minds.

If Mugabe was a famous resistance hero then, he's a notorious third-world thug now. On the face of it, in this he doesn't seem exceptional. North Korea's deranged Stalinist regime, Saudi Arabia's fanatical kleptocracy, and Libya's one-man state are measurably further removed from representative government than Mugabe's Zanu-PF rule, which at least takes the trouble to hold elections before it steals them - as Mugabe has just done. Loathsome though he is, it isn't clear that the state he runs is less democratic than China, which is going to host this year's Olympic Games, an event which every country in the world will attend.

But Zimbabwe has been singled out by western countries as uniquely obnoxious. Queen Elizabeth has withdrawn the honorary knighthood granted to Mugabe on the advice of the British government, and Britain and America have imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe. Britain's Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, has instructed the ECB to cut bilateral ties with Zimbabwe, and specifically to cancel Zimbabwe's cricket tour of England next year.

This has led to some heated argument about western hypocrisy, shored up by familiar accusations of inconsistency and partiality. Why hasn't the West asked for Saudi Arabia to be banned from the World Cup, given that it's run by fundamentalist despots? Why isn't Israel sanctioned for brutalising the West Bank and relentlessly stealing Palestinian land? Why hasn't Burnham instructed the British Olympic association to boycott the Games in the context of the Chinese "occupation" of Tibet and its moral indifference to genocide in Africa?

This debate is relevant to Indian cricket in the context of the impending ICC meeting that will discuss, among other things, a proposal to strip Zimbabwe of full membership of the ICC and disbar it from playing international cricket at the highest level. The BCCI has declared that it will support Zimbabwe's current status as a Full Member. The thinking behind the BCCI's stand is straightforward: Zimbabwe's board is a reliable supporter of the BCCI's South Asian bloc in the conclaves of the ICC and one vote in ten isn't to be sneezed at.

In the debate about the rights and wrongs of sanctioning Zimbabwe, several thoughtful commentators, including John Traicos, a white cricketer who played Test cricket for both South Africa and Zimbabwe, have argued that excluding Zimbabwean teams from international matches would be to punish sportsmen for the sins of politicians, an argument that seems to shore up the BCCI's position. They have also argued that banning Zimbabwe is a low-cost way of feeling self-righteous, but one that will do nothing to hasten the end of Mugabe's regime. The fact that the main critics of Zimbabwe tend to be Western politicians and cricket administrators, notable for their selectively sensitive consciences hasn't helped the boycott cause either.

The views of the ECB and David Morgan on this matter are unimportant: what should be decisive for Pawar and Modi as Indians is the position taken by Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who have both in recent days condemned Mugabe's leadership.

From an Indian point of view, there are two problems with the argument for keeping politics and sport apart. The Indian government, the Indian intelligentsia and the BCCI were in the vanguard of the campaign to ostracise South Africa and South African cricket for half a century, so we can't now start being principled about the autonomy of sport. The question we need to answer is this: is Mugabe's thuggish and predatory regime as evil as apartheid South Africa? In ideological terms, if we compare the regimes in terms of their ruling philosophies, the short answer to this question is "no". But if we were to compare the quality of life under the two regimes, the answer is less simple.

Under Mugabe, the life expectancy of Zimbabweans, male and female, has been nearly halved, from 60 to the mid-30s. Ten per cent of the population is HIV positive, 20% if you look at the band of people between the 15 and 49. Its agriculture has collapsed, its money is worth nothing, and there is a real danger of widespread hunger and starvation in a country that was once the most efficient grain producer in Africa. The redistribution of agricultural land, disproportionately held by white farmers, has been done corruptly and arbitrarily to enrich Mugabe's political cronies and is one of the main reasons for the economy's collapse.

Peter Chingoka, the president of Zimbabwe Cricket, is, unsurprisingly, close to Mugabe's regime. Zimbabwe Cricket in the last few years has presided over an exodus of its best players and the weakening of the national team to the point where it has less competitive credibility than Bangladesh. An audit of its finances revealed serious irregularities. Under pressure from the BCCI, the ICC has done nothing to hold Zimbabwe to account.

The BCCI has to decide whether it wishes to be the patron-in-chief of a dysfunctional, politically compromised - and in the light of the audit, very likely corrupt - Zimbabwean board. It has to work out whether it wants the ICC to continue to financially subsidise such an organisation, a subsidy that, in effect, makes the ICC and the BCCI complicit in the violence of Mugabe's regime (of which ZC is a client). It shouldn't be a hard decision to make.

The views of the ECB and David Morgan on this matter are unimportant: what should be decisive for Pawar and Modi as Indians is the position taken by Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who have both in recent days condemned Mugabe's leadership. When the two greatest political leaders of South Africa's struggle against apartheid are driven to disown a man who was once a comrade-in-arms in their struggle against racist tyranny, it's time for the BCCI to take a break from ICC realpolitik and follow suit.

Mukul Kesavan is a novelist, essayist and historian based in New Delhi

RSS Feeds: Mukul Kesavan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by vietzim on (July 6, 2008, 9:00 GMT)

I believe that Zimbabwe should have been relegated to associate status for numerous reasons not just political ones. If we take the political argument out of the mix (agree or not, it did help bring about change in SA)then there is still the major issue of the Zim Cricket Board being responsible for "financial irregularities", the exodus of many talented players, outright racism (two wrongs don't make a right) and blatant disregard for the facilities and professional set up. These other "charges" should be sufficient reason for relegating Zimbabwe.

Posted by ChinmayD on (July 5, 2008, 22:02 GMT)

I would say the writer is more or less spot on in his assessment of the situation. Great article. Zim should have been relegated to associate status.

Posted by sitoten on (July 4, 2008, 22:32 GMT)

Musul Kesavan and other similar commentators are masters at twisting arguements and using any justification to explain a shambles, but it won't work forever. Blame the colonial countries, apartheid, Ian Smith etc as much as you want, but the african people had far better lives under them, better futures, administration that worked, growing economies and sport, art, business that worked. This is not about Mugabe or apartheid, this is about getting Zimbabwe to be able to field a team and take its place in world cricket. The ICC is responsible for the contributions, and their responsibility is to ensure it is used to administer cricket in Zimbabwe. They are failing miserably, and Musul somehow manages to support them. Chingoka, Bvute and obviously the BCCI are getting their hands on the money, so Zimbabwe cricketrs suffer. Marvellous. Let's see if he comes back with something the rest of us can believe.

Posted by JackJ on (July 4, 2008, 13:02 GMT)

Sano_Reddy, your comment:"on interest of white minorities whose excessive land grabbed by Mugabe?" is utterly absurd! FYI, Zimbabwe was the breadbasket of Southern Africa, until Mugabe became totally insane. The Commercial Farmers Union there was one of the most productive in the world, regarding crop yields! Zim used to export over 50% of their maize crop, because it was surplus to domestic requirements. The fact that most of these farmers were white is irrelevant. They did their job and they did it exceedingly well! Now the good farmers have been expelled, without conpensation, and farm production has fallen by about 90%. The population is starving! Mugabe has destroyed his own country, but he and his cronies are the only ones not suffering! BTW, many of the farms are now owned by the cronies, and are unproductive. Please think before making extremely ignorant comments.

Posted by matt_82 on (July 4, 2008, 12:46 GMT)

hahaha TheEnticer are you serious??? "Aus has a far worse track record of human rights than any other country" that is one of the most ridiculous things i've ever heard!!! Australia has an excellent record of human rights, as you said, google it!!!

Posted by Doomhammer on (July 4, 2008, 9:57 GMT)

I was wondering what qualifications one needed to be able to judge what is more and what is less evil. This is a joke, honestly who does this person think he is to be saying this or that is more evil or less evil. Sure apartheid was evil i fully agree with that and it ruined South Africa and only in the last +- 15 years has the rebuilding started. You know its funny that aparthied is brought up every time, i think alot of that has to do with it being the most recent evil government or regime or whatever you like to call it. Also the racist aspect of Apartheid im sure stands out in people minds. It makes me wonder when people are going to move on with there lives and try and go forward like all South Africans are now trying to do. No one talks of what the Australians did and still do to the aboriganees or the fact that the Americans still have reservations or the countless other bad things happening around the world like the ones mentioned in the article.

Posted by sano_Reddy on (July 4, 2008, 8:25 GMT)

The point is: will it solve the political problem of Zimbabwe by banning them from sport event? it will demoralise the people even more.

can some one tell whats the solution to this problem? because west cant invest on war without future returns on it.

why western media is so busy in manufacturing consent on Zimbabwe issue leaving behind many worst problems in the world? on interest of white minorities whose excessive land grabbed by Mugabe?

Posted by TheEnticer on (July 4, 2008, 6:41 GMT)

Spot on Mukul, missed you in your absence. You have presented both sides without blaming anyone. You have exposed the hypocrisy in England's position and Australia tagging along. You have also exposed the First world sense of justice plaguing these countries. I dont agree with your conclusion though. I would care less about what happens in Zim or anywhere else for that matter, I want India to retain power and control even if it means ignoring phony pleas of justice from Eng and Aus. Aus has a far worse track record of human rights than any other country (google it ifyou dont believe me). Please dont let these snake oil salesmen pull a fast one on us, this is about cricket politics. If England was serious about Human rights, they would not participate in olympics and they would not attend it. So lets put this in perspective.

Posted by LTKirin on (July 4, 2008, 6:17 GMT)

Thanks Mukul for the enlightening article. Where morality matters conscience must come into front. If the "Independent Audit" indicates a prima facie case of fraud and/or corruption, then ZC must be sent a charge sheet first with a defined timeframe for responding. If ZC continue to ignore the charges, then tell ZC to put it right and aks them to that they are clean. It is perfectly alright for ICC to tell ZC, "Adios until such time".

Posted by Jim_Ribbans on (July 4, 2008, 3:17 GMT)

I don't really understand the quandry here. Zimbabwe's cricket authorities have, by independent audit, been found to be fiddling the books. Co-incedentally their cricket has gone to pot in same time frame. Forget the politics, the ZCU has been defrauding the ICC (and by extension the BCCI and India's fans) out of tens of millions of dollars.

That alone should be reason to suspend or ban them.

If you found an employee or business partner robbing you of cash wouldn't you get rid of them?

Posted by DeepCower on (July 4, 2008, 2:55 GMT)

It is quite startling to see some of the comments on this page. It may well be true that some countries may have worse democracies than Zimbabwe, but that is no reason to condone the actions of Mugabe or his ally Chingoka. If we perceive something as wrong, our immediate action should be to raise our voices against it, and not compare it to something that is even worse. That is not the path to improvement. As Mukul correctly points out, Mugabe stands in the way of a country and her improvement. And if Chingoka and his allies want to be part of this nonsensical regime, then a small but vital step should be taken to show Chingoka that the rest of the world doesn't agree with such ill-formed policies, whether Zimbabwe has a vote in ICC or not. I hope BCCI puts morality above power atleast in this one issue.

Posted by Richie_The_Bat on (July 4, 2008, 1:26 GMT)

This whole Zimbabwe issue is getting out of hand. To me it is simple. Zimbabwe do not currently play test cricket ...... therfore they should not be a full ICC member. They should be demoted to associate. There are now a couple of associates who are better sides who could play test cricket. Ireland is the obvious here, and even Kenya are a better side than Zimbabwe. Even the obnoxious actions of Mugabe have no relevance to the question of ICC membership, or for that matter, as some comments have stated, the membership of Sri Lanka or Pakistan. Oh ... and I wish your readers would cut the racial black-white rubbish (very offensive).

Posted by rv770 on (July 3, 2008, 21:41 GMT)

After long time one nice article published in cricinfo which did not criticsize India/BCCI. The writer went through cultures, present international politics, opportunities/benefits for individuals, foul cry countries based on color, above all present international morale.

Excellent article

Posted by Nampally on (July 3, 2008, 21:29 GMT)

Thanks for an enlighting article.In my opinion Mugabe regime is way worse than the aparthied regime in S.Africa. Mugabe is a rich dictator who eliminates anyone opposed to his views - similar to Idi Amin. He compiled his wealth at the expense of his citizens. Cricket is a gentleman's sport. Is there a place for Cricket in a country where there are no human rights & Mugabe's views are supreme. It is easy to say "do not mix politics with Cricket" to justify one's actions. Why should the rest of the Cricketing world finance Zimbabwe with $11 million/year for Cricket, in absence of basic human rights for its citizens? It is like putting cart before the horse. Can there be any healthy sporting environment when the life of a human being hangs by a slender thread. It is surprising to note that BCCI is backing Cricket in a country with such a repressive regime. Now is the chance to put pressure on Mugabe to reform his actions thru' sanctions and ICC has a golden chance to show its leadership.

Posted by Polorky on (July 3, 2008, 20:33 GMT)

I am appalled by some of the comments here suggesting Mugabe is not that bad, they clear have no idea what is actually happening over there. Towards the end of the recent election any opposition supporters Mugabe's cronies could get their hands on were either killed, maimed or tortured. There was one particular case where a opposition party member had her hands and feet cut off (this is coming from The Economist by the way). So to say Mugabe is not all that bad is incredibly naive. I'll agree there is a certain Western hypocrisy especially over places like Saudi Arabia but surely ignoring Zimbabwe for that reason just makes the situation worse because there's one more regime left to terrify, torture and kill the very people they are suppose to serve. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Posted by Jegan1971 on (July 3, 2008, 18:13 GMT)

Among ICC full member nations, Zimbabwe does not have the worst human right violation record. The record belongs to Srilanka and it's president Manhitha Rajapakshe. If ECB and British government really care about human rights, they should be trying to ban Srilanka from International cricket. ECB and English cricketers do not have any right to talk about Zimbabwe's record as England Cricketers are regularly touring Srilanka without saying a signle word about the Human Right violations of Srilankan Governemnt.

Posted by long_handle9 on (July 3, 2008, 17:48 GMT)

Having said that, of course, Mugabe's regime has seen Zimbabwe plummet from prosperous trader to one of the world's poorest countries, and certainly the most rapid in decline. That--not the absence of democracy, which is to be found in many decent countries--is true human rights violation, Mr Kesavan.

Posted by long_handle9 on (July 3, 2008, 17:42 GMT)

Quite true, Mr Kesavan, but it's interesting how the West has set up the obviously flawed idea of a democracy and then expects the rest of the world to fall in line with it.

Posted by DineshIyer on (July 3, 2008, 17:39 GMT)

There are those who have morals, there are those who dont have morals and then you have the BCCI (who in its current form probably would like that word abolished from the dictionary!). If Zimbabwe represents a vote in the ICC, you can bet you bottom rupee that the BCCI wants it in! In today's fractious world, you just cannot isolate sports and politics. Cutting bilateral ties is a way of protesting and showing disdain at the current state of affairs. It might not make a huge impact but it cannot be said that it will make no impact. I know this comment of mine is not really going to affect the BCCI's position, but I am making it anway! Way to go Mr. Pawar!

Posted by JackJ on (July 3, 2008, 17:06 GMT)

The Mugabe regime is one of the most evil of all time. Its odium is exceeded in Africa only by the Hutu's in Rwanda, who committed genocide, murdering 800,000 Tutsis in 3 months. Mugabe has a history of genocide himself, having murdered 35 000 Matabele in the mid '80's. He has totally destroyed his country's economy, and only he and his cronies get to eat regularly. S Africa is host to more than 3 million Zimbabwean refugees, while another million are in other countries. The case against them is unquestionable. They cannot be allowed to play cricket against decent countries! Its an insult to humanity! I propose suspension, not expulsion, until Mugabe is gone. More importantly, the $11 million of ICC funds must not be given again! We know, from the auditors report, that India shamefully ignored, that the ZCU is guilty of corruption and embezzling these funds to support the lifestyles of Chingoka and Bvute! They live well, with expensive cars etc while all around starve.

Posted by archprakash on (July 3, 2008, 16:15 GMT)

More than Human rights violation, I think it is a conflict between White and Black people, which is a very sensitive issue, and we should not take a decision by discriminating any one. It is high time white people start walking than flying in the air and understands they cannot do to injustice to anyone.I think English people have lost their mind. How could they ask other to support them for a issue which is Zimbabwe's internal one.

Posted by peado on (July 3, 2008, 16:06 GMT)

I think it is a bit rich for an Indian to talk about white racism, and white tyranny in apartheid Africa. India has an apartheid system (caste) far more extreme than anything that ever happened in Africa. When there is an untouchable playing for the Indian cricket team, then and only then will Indians have a right to talk about racism. India is the most racist country in the world.

Posted by NumberXI on (July 3, 2008, 15:51 GMT)

It is funny how Mukul K and a lot of other people have happily bought into this India-wants-to-retain-the-one-vote-Zim-has argument and are merrily selling it all over the place. Does anyone realize that if BCCI were to benefit from Zimbabwe's vote, countries like Australia and England, who are at the forefront ot the anti-Zimbabwe brigade might just as well be motivated by the fact that banning ZImbabwe means one vote less for the BCCI? Are either they or the readers of all these blogs so naive as to miss this rather obvious fact? Elsewhere, Gideon Haigh has written a stirring piece about politics-and-cricket. What he does not mention is that the Zimbabwe vote is part of that politics. After all, considering BCCI gets its way 7-3 each time, they have less to worry from the missing vote than someone wanting to make it 6-3 instead!!!

Posted by archprakash on (July 3, 2008, 14:27 GMT)

Mr Mukul what you have thought about is the straight way of looking into things.But do you think ECB and English goverment are looking into this in a same manner,the answer is NO... I don't understand why people are blaming India now. I think India is supporting Zimbabwe to be a member of ICC, which I think is fair enough .Even India was on war with Pakistan India did not ask them to be removed from ICC .India did not play Pakistan same as what England have proposed. India is not opposing their decision on not playing Zimbabwe. English people are over reacting for what is happening in Zimbabwe .What about china and the communism there ,what about human rights violation in Srilanka against the Tamil people there and what about military rule in Pakistan ?India is not any better ..There lot of human rights violation there. And what about the history, British are the reason for the subcontinent poor state now.More than Human rights violation, I think it is a conflict between White and Blac

Posted by cric8111 on (July 3, 2008, 14:18 GMT)

Mr. MK.

While two wrongs do not make a right, do understand that allowing white majority nations to bully you into deciding who can or cannot do something is precisely what racism is all about.

Do understand Mugabe is just a dead horse being flogged because it pays to flog him. The real prize is uranium and other natural resources and Zimbabwe's fertile lands that greedy business people want to get their hands on.

As a Sri Lankan said Pakistan is allowed to play even though it has a military ruler. America boasts of being a democracy while it kills and maims people at will overseas all in the name of good v evil.

No one has ever proposed banning America and the UK for the hundreds of thousands they killed in Iraq.

But notice the umbrage over Tibet and China hosting an Olympics it was awarded years ago.

Don't be a parrot repeating the white man's words....

Tomorrow they may suggest banning India over Harijans.

Then what will be your stance?

Posted by AndyFlowerFan on (July 3, 2008, 13:08 GMT)

If the Zim cricket team was still white as it was 10 years ago, England would not be asking to have zim struck off, its just a racist issue, leave politics out of cricket

Posted by batsman_keeper on (July 3, 2008, 12:13 GMT)

According to Wikipaedia Zimbabwe has the 7th lowest life expectancy in the world. The countries below Zimbabwe are (from best to worst): Angola, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Mozambique and Swaziland. Suggests Robert Mugabe is not the structural cause of shortened life in Zimbabwe. Suggests the middle class in particular and the Western world in general has only an ideological understanding of Zimbabwe. Who cares if the ball is pitching outside the leg stump Mugabe deserves to given out! Welcome to the political correct world, cricket style. Play the man, don't watch the ball - that would require some sort of historical understanding of exploitation, land theft and racial murder (who remembers the BSAP or the Selous Scouts?). Doing the right thing is never the easy, self righteous option. Africa is much more difficult than that.

Posted by Rajesh_Seldon on (July 3, 2008, 12:09 GMT)

Good Call, Mr Mukul. BCCI has completely lost its moral compass. During the apartheid years, India and BCCI (and in fact rest of the cricketing world) had a 'holier-than-thou' attitude and refused to play cricket with South Africa. So....where was the "Sports and Politics dont mix" attitude then? I think BCCI should do the right thing and reduce ZC status from full member. But somehow allow their cricketers to play A-tours so as to completely not destroy their cricket.

Isnt it also ironic that the West Indies cricket board is also silent now on this issue? I remember for so many years that WICB and their cricketers were on the forefront of anti-apartheid campaign. So much so that their society ended up ostracising some of their cricketers who had gone on rebel tours! I wonder why they are silent now. Moral compass should work in 360 degrees and not in one direction.

Posted by Sekhar_S on (July 3, 2008, 11:49 GMT)

I don't understand why everyone is resigned to accuse the BCCI for anything and everything it does.The victory against Australia in the 2007 T20 world cup is the only silver lining in the dark cloud of Zimbabwe.Imagine the plight of the Zimbabwean players who would have been on an all-time high after that win.The only thing the poor players,whose sole profession is cricket,will be expecting is to carry forward the good run and play better cricket,but the ECB is attempting to stifle it.Who knows--the ECB's decision itself might have been backed by some English politician!

Posted by vatsap on (July 3, 2008, 11:49 GMT)

Nice perspective. I was all for banning Zimbabwe, for the prime reason that BCCI sees it only as a Vote bank opportunity. Comparing Zim with the China's, Saudi's and Israel's of the world brings out the Western hypocrisy out well. Let us see how this pans out.

Posted by AdsDad on (July 3, 2008, 11:25 GMT)

Quite right, Mr Mukul. But sadly it won't happen. Zimbabwe represents a vote for India and they won't give it up.

Posted by NumberXI on (July 3, 2008, 10:27 GMT)

If indeed, the Zimbabwe regime is as demonic as is being made out cricket is hardly the way to go about it. If the moral conscience of nations like the UK is so deeply offended by the acts of Mugabe, they have the duty, and not just the right, to take up a case for a worldwide sanction of Zimbabwe, in much the same way that India and other nations did with South Africa forty years ago. And, just to bolster the point maybe the ECB and England should forgo the right to host the next Twenty20 World Cup if it means Zimbabwe will play there, in much the same way that India refused to play South Africa in a Davis Cup Final in 1974, and hence forefeited the title. Raving and ranting against the BCCI for their own failures to, for instance, stop FIFA from allowing Zimbabwe to play in the World Cup qualifiers, or in other international events in puerile and an admission of incompetence. Don't make the BCCI a scapegoat!

Posted by Keep-It-Cool on (July 3, 2008, 9:32 GMT)

The BCCI should not, by itself, take a call based on the politics of a region. If the Indian government, like it did in the case of South Africa, cuts ties with Zimbabwe, the BCCI should cut cricketing ties. Not otherwise.

Posted by Anjo on (July 3, 2008, 7:59 GMT)

Every once in a while Mukul writes an article that really strikes a chord with my heart, perhaps the moon will be blue tonight. Unfortunately for anybody with half a conscience, if the BCCI took inspiration from people like Mandela or Tutu, world cricket would be much better off than the corrupt money spinning machine it has become.

Posted by Revnq on (July 3, 2008, 7:39 GMT)

The situation in Zimbabwe has become an embarrassment to anyone in their right mind - now free of the racist policies of the white government of history, they now find themselves with full rights, and about half the life expectancy to enjoy it. Whilst banning or demoting Zimbabwe will not cause any political upheaval, it should still be done as ZC is a most corrupt organization. Funds that the ICC would normally allocate to ZC should instead be funneled to Bangladesh, or to the associate nations of Kenya and Ireland. Lastly, just because it won't do anything isn't a reason not to do it - banning South Africa and rebel tourists during apartheid did nothing to ignite regime change, people like Mandela made the difference.

Posted by ZimFanatic on (July 3, 2008, 6:55 GMT)

Congratulations to Mr Mukul on a fabulous work of piece with valuable history included.Being a die-hard Zimbabwe fan, though from India, I'm keenly following the Zim crisis on CricInfo. But only two articles captured my imagination, one by the living legend Traicos(the willy fox is again spot-on like his offspiners)& another one by Mukul. Of course the conditions in Zim has become bad to worse but as the two gentleman mentioned above wrote, banning ZC will do nothing to hasten the end of Mugabe's regime.

Have your say
Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Mukul KesavanClose
Mukul Kesavan teaches social history for a living and writes fiction when he can - he is the author of a novel, Looking Through Glass. He's keen on the game but in a non-playing way. With a top score of 14 in neighbourhood cricket and a lively distaste for fast bowling, his credentials for writing about the game are founded on a spectatorial axiom: distance brings perspective. Kesavan's book of cricket - Men in Whitewas published in 2007.
Related Links
Teams: India | Zimbabwe

    Catch dodgy actions early

Ian Chappell: Kids mimic the cricket heroes of the day, so the problem of throwing must be tackled below the first-class level

    Reorganising West Indies' first-class structure is only half the battle won

Tony Cozier: Pitches, umpiring, and practice facilities must be simultaneously improved

    Trading places

All Out Cricket: In a world where £50m can be staked on a single IPL game, armies of professional cricket traders work the betting markets. But who are these people?

The set-up

The Cricket Monthly: When Tony Greig was outwitted by Ashley Mallett
Download the app: for iPad | for Android tablet

A method to rate the dominance of Test teams

Kartikeya Date: Taking into account margin of victory and draws, while eliminating arbitrary decay in setting cut-off limits

News | Features Last 7 days

Champions League T20 still battling for meaning

The thrills are rather low-octane, the skills are a bit lightweight, and the tournament overly India-centric

Automaton, man, inspiration

Twenty years on, Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to be understated, underestimated. And that doesn't bother him. What's not to like?

Busy keepers, and Waqar's bowleds

Also, high scores and low averages, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player

85 Tests, 70 defeats

Of the 85 Tests that Bangladesh have played so far, they've lost 70 and won just four. Those stats are easily the worst among all teams when they'd played as many Tests

'My kind of bowling style is gone now'

Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament

News | Features Last 7 days