Zimbabwe should be expelled from world cricket, says Andy Flower

June 25th, 2008 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  


London, June 25 (IANS) Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to expel his country, which has been embarrassed by the presence of “President Robert Mugabe’s despicable clan” within cricket’s governing body. The move is anticipated to take place next week after the withdrawal of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai from the second round of the country’s general election triggered a sporting sanction from South Africa.

Ongoing political unrest in Zimbabwe has led to South Africa’s cricket board severing bilateral arrangements with their neighbours.

As a result, the ICC have been asked to decide Zimbabwe’s fate next week - and if seven full member countries are in agreement they will be kicked out.

“There will have to be a government change for cricket to move forward there. Because the people in charge of cricket there at the moment are part of Robert Mugabe’s supporters - they are all in bed with him,” Flower was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

Flower, who is now England’s batting coach, five years ago donned a black armband to mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe.

“It’s going to take a long time to turn things around as domestic cricket is in such a poor state there. We were never strong but it’s in such a poor state now. It’s very sad. So many people gave up so much time and energy to get us into international cricket in the first place - people who weren’t paid,” he said.

“They did it for the love of the game and the love of their country. It is now pretty much ruined.”

Flower added: “I’m no politician when it comes to the ICC but I do know that Peter Chingoka is part of Mugabe’s despicable clan and the fact that he’s allowed to prance around with the ICC colours on and sit on ICC committees is embarrassing.

“And embarrassing for the ICC to have him on there - he’s just not a good enough person to be making decisions about anything, especially not the finances of the ICC for instance.”

In another interesting development the British Government will also ask the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to ban Zimbabwe’s team from entering the country for next year’s one-day matches and the Twenty20 World Cup.

“Things are spiralling out of control so quickly in Zimbabwe now,” Flower added. “I hope someone does something to arrest that. If suspending Zimbabwe from the ICC is the first step then that’s good,” Flower added.

“I support a suspension. We should not have normal relations with a country in such an abnormal state. I don’t think they should play in England next year on either the tour or in the ICC World Twenty20,” he said.

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