Cricket News by Shane Dell 06/05/04
The International Cricket Council seem very confused at exactly what their role is in world cricket and the current issues affecting Zimbabwe cricket if their recent statements are any indication of the true state of affairs.
Although the ICC continue to follow the line that their role is not to interfere in cricket at the local level or get involved in the politics affecting the sport, their most recent media releases sent out by ICC President Ehsan Mani, heavily criticise and condemn the 15 Zimbabwe rebels who have taken a stand against racism running rampant in the sport in Zimbabwe and also launch an attack on British PM Tony Blair for recent comments he has made regarding the Zimbabwe issues.
Clearly, the latest media release criticising the Zimbabwe rebels, goes on to contradict itself by pointing out to us all that the ICC has no right to intervene in the issues affecting Zimbabwe, but all the while they continue to point out that they have sought to get involved, only to be knocked back by the ZCU.
The ICC need to clearly make up their mind whether or not they are going to get involved or keep their mouths shut and leave it to those involved to sort it out. At the very least, they should refrain from praising the ZCU, whilst they condemn the rebels for their stand.
To try and compare the issues in Zimbabwe with those of Australia and New Zealand is total stupidity and shows the ICC’s lack of understanding of those issues. The Aussies and Kiwis were having financial issues with their Boards, the Zimbabwean rebels are having race issues....or hasn’t the ICC and Ehsan Mani noticed.
If this is not confusion on the part of the ICC, I don’t know what you would call it!
Another media release by Ehsan Mani goes on to criticise Tony Blair for his attempts to escape scrutiny over his lack of action on the Zimbabwe issues and suggest he has dodged the issue in order to secure the Olympics for London.
Now c’mon Mr Mani, do you truly believe the propaganda you spout on behalf of the ICC that this body is not a political body, nor should it muddy the waters of politics with sport? If you do, you’re a fool! Your latest media release on behalf of your organisation clearly spells out that the ICC will get involved in politics and political commentary when it suits the ICC’s agenda, whatever that is.
Once again, this shows a position of confusion for the ICC.
Either the ICC is going to get involved in the politics of sport or it’s not, which is it!
You may want to point out to the cricket world Mr Mani the involvement by British entities in Zimbabwe, but is this your job to be doing as head of World Cricket’s governing body?
Absolutely not! So again, either get involved in the real issues or keep out of it altogether.
If you cannot keep your mouth closed and follow the line that you feed to the world’s media about the ICC NOT being a political organisation, nor will it take side’s in the issues of Zimbabwe, hand the reins of the ICC on to someone else who can. Don’t merely sit there and echo the rumblings coming out of certain sectors of India, who recently poked their nose into the issues by tacitly threatening boycotts of tours by Asian teams to nations who refuse to tour Zimbabwe.
Solve the true problems and solve them now. But, I doubt you would want to do this, as it might force the ICC to look at other cricket Nations that apply racist quota’s to the sport or even upset the agenda of a high profile media mogul in Asia who has cricket in that geographical region by the short and curlies. We all know Mr Mani is credited with boosting revenue from TV telecasts of matches for the ICC, you can easily figure out whose networks he signed off with.
And quoting Mr Mani in an interview with the BBC in July 2002, “We're in a dynamic organisation but we cannot just ignore countries self-interests. When you just push those ambitions back you create problems,” you start to wonder whose interests he serves.
Who really runs world cricket? Hm, I wonder!
Is it this man or maybe this one or possibly even this one?