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June 30, 2008
In two letters that followed Mali's announcement, Chingoka reminded him that the ICC had already discussed the matter. "You will recall that last year in London, a decision was taken and well-supported by you and other members that sport and politics, like oil and water, do not mix."
Quoting the ICC's own rules, Chingoka insisted Zimbabwe's status could be discussed only at next year's annual conference as such a motion needed to be tabled by December 31 of the preceding year. Ironically, a change to the rules was proposed two years ago to allow more immediate action to be taken. Chingoka opposed it at the time and the move was defeated after India indicated they would not support it.
The letters also pointed to a possible breakdown in relations between Chingoka and Mali, hitherto seen as close allies. Less than a year ago, Mali was effusive in his praise for the ZC administration following a six-day fact-finding visit. But last week he told Chingoka that he had acted because he "owed it to the cricket community to feel all is normal."
Chingoka, playing the race card, warned Mali of "setting double standards and discriminatory levels that go against the ICC anti-racism code".
He went on to accuse Mali of making Zimbabwe "a scapegoat" for the decision to stand down Malcolm Speed as the ICC's chief executive in April and called the latest announcement of the discussion on Zimbabwe "unethical", adding it was an "agenda item infested with political connotations". He concluded by asking: "Whose political gallery are these antics supposed to appease?"
"There are over 100 ICC member countries with differing political environments," he continued. "Without venturing to mention names as it is apparent, it is clear that certain worse conditions exist in those other member countries. It has not warranted the ICC putting them on its agenda as it is doing with Zimbabwe right now."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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