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Well its actually politics + cricket + morality + riding-high-horses. The ECB have more or less decided to call off England's forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe on moral grounds, on the recommendations of Des Wilson, chairman of the ECB's corporate affairs and marketing committee.
The ICC have indicated that there could be legal implications if England pull out. Tours are typically arranged between the boards of the countries involved and do not really come under the purview of the ICC, except perhaps as a facilitator. However Zimbabwe could sue the ECB if moral issues are raised rather than security.
Henry Olonga and an anonymous former Zimbabwean player are against Zimbabwe touring. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Lord Sebastian Coe, the famous British middle distance runner who defied calls to boycott the Moscow 1980 Olympics, who says that boycotts don't really work.
There are a gamut of issues involved. However what needs to be remembered is Zimbabwe toured England in 2003. The tour had been in jeapordy ever since England refused to play in Zimbabwe in the 2003 World Cup. Zimbabwe had threatened to call off their tour of England in mid-2003. The ECB allegedly managed to extract a commitment from the ZCU that if Zimbabwe toured England, England would tour Zimbabwe in 2004. Clearly this is a promise broken, if it was made in the first place. It is selfishness of the highest nature. England clearly benefitted monetarily from having Zimbabwe tour England. They shamelessly benefitted from the gate receipts, sponsors etc. Yet when it comes to England touring Zimbabwe, it is a moral issue.
What does baffle me is that England are refusing to tour Zimbabwe when an Indian team is all set to tour Pakistan. If India can tour Pakistan, any other team can tour any other place. Surely the danger to Indians in Pakistan is infinitely greater than the danger faced by Englishmen in Zimbabwe. It is another matter though, that I still feel India shouldn't be touring Pakistan, purely for security reasons. The reasons have in fact increased manifold since September 2003 when I wrote that piece. Musharraf has had a couple of attempts on his life in December, followed by a blast in Karachi.
What's in a name, did you say? Well, Microsoft doesn't quite think the same of Mike Rowe who setup his site called mikerowesoft.com. Microsoft claimed copyright infringement and asked him to change his domain name. Mike Rowe asked for $10,000 to change it, Microsoft offered him $10.
Now the big bad behemoth feels that they may have taken the trademark and copyright a little too seriously and that they were in the process of resolving the issue.
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