In some ways I agree with a recent article in the Zimbabwe Independent (New Zealand Tour Postponement An Utter Sham) and in other ways I don’t.
Much as I’d like to see my on screen cricket heart throb, Brendon McCallum, in the flesh at Harare Sports Club, I support New Zealand opting to stay home rather than tour Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Independent article rightly points out that the reasons that New Zealand have put forward for postponing the tour, being the safety and security of their team, are mere excuses. As far as 5 * hotel cricket tours are concerned, you won’t find a safer place than Zimbabwe to play. The New Zealand cricket board are speaking around the truth, and that makes them rather repugnant. The truth is they’re not coming to Zimbabwe because everyone knows that old Bob, patron saint of cricket and chaos, is still in charge of the country.
Suggestions by the newly appointed David Coltart (in the crease as Minister of Education, Sport, Art and Culture) that New Zealand give the Unity Government a chance are a load of bollocks in my book. Here we have a nation that’s been used and abused for many years and Suddenly we must put the past to rest and move forward. David, things take time.
The majority of Zimbabweans are saying let’s wait and see what happens with this whole Unity Government thing. So why shouldn’t the international community as well? It is entirely naive to suggest that politics and sport are separate; they never have been, and they never will be.
Coltart reckons that he’s prepared to jump on a plane and convince the Kiwis to come play cricket in Zimbabwe. I wonder if he’s also willing to welcome back a couple of cricketing heroes, namely Henry Olonga and Andy Flower, to open the first game in our “new” Zimbabwe. And guarantee that they won’t be stalked, abducted and thrown into jail like Roy Bennett was?