West Indies 'being used' by white elite July 16, 2007

Chingoka attacks 'mischievous' ICC members

Cricinfo staff

Peter Chingoka: 'We had a very successful trip' © Getty Images
Peter Chingoka, Zimbabwe Cricket's chairman, has hit out at certain boards who, he claimed, tried to block Zimbabwe's return to Test cricket.

In an article in the pro-government Sunday News, Chingoka attacked unnamed Full Member countries. "They were trying to be mischievous," he told the newspaper. "They know very well it was our prerogative to pull out of Test cricket for a while and so the decision to resume similarly rests with us. But they wanted to take it out of our hands, and put it into the ICC's.

"The management board of the ICC tried to use a subordinate board - the cricket committee - to suspend us, which is simply unacceptable. But we were successful in our efforts to block it from being tabled to the executive board.

"Happily the board is unconvinced by any of their cheap arguments and say they are not qualified to handle political issues anyway. They had planned beforehand that we be stopped from playing Test cricket completely. But certainly we did better than we had initially thought, so I would say we had a very successful trip."

Chingoka did not name any of those either on the cricket committee or within the ICC who he believed acted against Zimbabwe, although his targets may well include Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive. In a leaked report, Speed wrote: "My personal view, shared by the cricket committee and ICC senior management, is that the game in Zimbabwe and, more widely, the rest of the cricket world, will not be well served by Zimbabwe resuming Test cricket at this stage." And shortly after the end of the ICC conference he was on record as saying that he doubted "if Zimbabwe will ever be able to come back to Test cricket".

The white elite can now sanctimoniously justify any adverse action taken against Zimbabwe
Chingoka, like his government, has often sought to play the race card when discussing the actions of other boards against Zimbabwe, although the cancellation by West Indies of an A-team tour due to take place this month on safety grounds appeared to put the skids under those arguments.

But the paper quoted a source who attended the ICC conference - which in reality restricts the options to Chingoka or his right-hand man Ozias Bvute - as saying that West Indies had "bowed under pressure and are now being used."

The source added: "Whereas it was first seen as black versus white, the West Indies have been persuaded otherwise and the white elite can now sanctimoniously justify any adverse action taken against Zimbabwe."