South Africa Mull Zimbabwe Boycott

ZIMBABWE was on the agenda at Cricket South Africa (CSA)’s board meeting on Wednesday as the association battles to avert a mooted boycott of Zimbabwe by the country’s cricketers.

 

This comes amid reports in the South African media that the country’s professional players have heeded calls by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to isolate the Zimbabwe team as a way of demonstrating opposition to human rights abuses by government agents in Zimbabwe.

CSA president Norman Arendse last week told the Mail & Guardian that Zimbabwe will top the agenda after pressure mounted to isolate the Zimbabwe national side over the political crisis in the country.

Arendse said: “We are going to have a meeting next Wednesday and top of our agenda will be the Zimbabwean issue. We will then pronounce what our stance on Zimbabwe will be, but for now I must stress that we take the Archbishop’s views seriously and our policy is to support Zimbabwean cricket.”

The players’ decision to support a boycott will leave the South African board in a tight situation as it has always supported Zimbabwe Cricket and has been reluctant to support the boycott.

The outcome of the Zimbabwe discussion has not been made public, being overshadowed by the changes in South Africa’s selection policy.

Sources close to the CSA however told IndependentSport that leading South African players have thrown their weight behind a boycott, leaving the South Africa board in a Catch 22 situation.

A boycott by South Africa is likely to have the most telling effect as until recently most of the moral pressure on Zimbabwe Cricket has come from England, Australia and New Zealand.

By Enock Muchinjo

Top