The Corner

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Not Cricket


I don’t expect that cricket’s world cup (which is due to be held next year) is a subject that would normally be of interest to most Corner readers, but on this occasion it should be. Unbelievably, the ICC (the International Cricket Council rather than the equally obnoxious International Criminal ‘Court’) has just confirmed its decision to stage six of the matches in Zimbabwe, home of the Mugabe dictatorship. The country’s embattled opposition is, unsurprisingly, appalled. Today’s London Times reports some comments by Themba Nyathi, a spokesman for the MDC (Mugabe’s main opponents):

“By agreeing to stage the World Cup in Zimbabwe, despite the humanitarian crisis and unprecedented levels of institutionalized violence, the ICC are sending a callous message to the people of Zimbabwe. Not only have they demonstrated indifference to the pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, they are also, albeit inadvertently, sending a message of hope to the despotic Mugabe regime.”


Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph correspondent, Simon Briggs, skewers ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed, who is maintaining the position that the cricket can be divorced from the politics:

“Asked whether the ICC would have been happy to stage matches in Nazi Germany, Speed stared glassily ahead and replied: “That is a hypothetical question. We simply don’t make political judgements, they’re for politicians.”

No word on what Speed thinks about moral judgements.


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