South African Cricket Writer Calls For Ban On Zimbabwe From World Cricket

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South African Cricket Writer Calls For Ban On Zimbabwe From World Cricket

The following write up has been making rounds in the media around cricket cycles in the world and is credited to South African writer Telford Vice through the Sunday Times of South Africa.

CRICKET DOMESTIC GAMES RESUME

The write up has received wide condemnation across the world.

A cricket team wearing the crest of a country where the henchman of a deposed tyrant has recently, and allegedly, been elected president enters another country.

Should they be detained as co-conspirators in crimes against their compatriots, turned away at the border, or asked what the hell they think they’re doing trying to pretend all’s well enough where they come from to indulge in a spot of mere cricket?

What should not happen, under any circumstances, is that they are let in to smear the second country with their lie of normality.

Such an act would be a dereliction of the duty all of us have to the natural law of standing up for right in the face of wrong. It would be unconscionable.

But when Zimbabwe touch down at O. R. Tambo International late next month to play South Africa in three games in each of the white-ball formats, not only will they be let in, no questions asked, they will be treated as if they are just another cricket team from just another country.

They aren’t. They represent the triumph of oppression over the dreams of millions who dared harbour hopes for nothing more nor less than a decent life. They fly the flag of fascism.

You have to wonder what Oliver Reginald Tambo, who lived in a world where people and principles mattered more than politics, and before leaders sold out to affluence only to resurrect identity politics when it suits them, might have made of that.

“The land on which the cattle grazed was communal property. It was owned by no-one. It was nobody’s private farm. It was the common property of the people, shared by the people. So the practice of sharing was central to the concept of ownership of property.”

That’s Tambo. Try telling the ANC, the EFF, and the DA that everybody already owns the land and that, accordingly, selfishness should be a criminal offence.

Try telling those who only give a damn that Zimbabwe will be here so they can gauge how far South Africa are from a realistic shot at winning the World Cup that they should be on picket lines protesting the Zimbabweans’ presence.

Try telling South Africa’s players that they should refuse to take the field.

Try telling the suits that they should demand Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the International Cricket Council.

All of the above should happen. It won’t because too many people no longer think; neither about principles nor politics nor indeed what’s right and wrong about how other people are treated.

We used to think: Andy Flower and Henry Olonga shattered the lie of normality by wearing black armbands to “mourn the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe” in the full glare of the publicity lavished on the 2003 World Cup. They did so in Harare and across the road from Robert Mugabe’s house.

Is it too cynical to wonder if, 15 years on, players would ask their agents how much they would be paid for wearing the armbands?

Maybe. So here’s an uncynical challenge to the Zimbabweans who will, unfortunately, be allowed into South Africa next month to play mere cricket even as their country cowers in anticipation of what the newly installed tyrant will do.

Zimbabwe’s team represent the triumph of oppression over the dreams of millions who dared harbour hopes for nothing more nor less than a decent life. They fly the flag of fascism.

Before you pack your bats, boots, helmets, gloves and pads, before you check if you have enough chewing gum and sunblock, put a roll of insulation tape into your bag.

Make sure it’s black.

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