Written by Sport

World Cup Cricket in Zimbabwe

Yesterday the players finally came out and told the ECB that they didn’t want to play their opening match in Zimbabwe. They spoke under the aegis of The Professional Cricketers Association. It really is dreadful that it came to this.
An excellent couple of articles in today’s Guardian explain why the ECB, and the ICC are so reluctant to cancel the game. It’s not political – it’s cash. Basically the ICC managed to sell the rights to the competition for a considerable amount of money to a company owned by Murdoch. His company, GCC (no website to be found), in turn have not been able to reap the rewards they were expecting to, so any changes in what they’ve been promised could open up a loophole for renegotiation. And that’s what the ICC are scared of.
Of course if players are not actually safe in the country, and injuries or death follow as a consequence of the match taking place, then no financial burden should prevent the game being called off.
All going well, the match will be moved this Thursday following another ICC meeting. Failing that, the World Cup and the ICC risk ridicule if England players refuse to play in Zimbabwe. I don’t think that the British public will have any problem with them pulling out.
As an aside, Radio 4 is broadcasting an edition of The Archive Hour in a couple of weeks entitled Rebel Hell, which is all about England’s tour to South Africa in 1982 and the turmoil it caused.