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Having been through this recently, I could empathise.
Stuart MacGill's decision to not tour Zimbabwe with the rest of the Australian squad is perhaps one of the first instances of a cricketer taking a stand on a moral issue. Previously cricketers have refrained from touring other countries, when a whole bunch of Kiwis refused to tour Pakistan last year or the likes of Croft (Robert, not Colin!) & Caddick refusing to tour India, citing security reasons. It shows that MacGill is one of the few cricketers who seems intelligent enough to have a viewpoint on the issue and go by his judgement. In contrast, many of his teammates are okay with touring Zimbabwe because they see themselves as cricketers and thus do not want to have anything to do with politics. Obviously they believe that sport is sport and politics is politics and the twain shall never meet, to paraphrase Kipling. As I've pointed out so many months ago here, nothing could be further from the truth. Sport has always been used as a means of enforcing a political viewpoint, whether it is to boycott a country or whether it is to (re)establish diplomatic relations. So how can the two be looked at in isolation?
It seems to me that very few cricketers nowadays seldom have a well-formed or educated opinion or seem intelligent enough to realize what is going on in the world beyond the boundary. Perhaps, they really ought to read CLR James or do any other sort of reading which opens up their minds. They should take positions on issues of importance, whether it is in improving the state of pitches or how to streamline domestic cricket or whether it is right to tour Pakistan etc. I think they're quite happy doing the playing and letting the media make its own judgement.
In case you're wondering whether this stance of mine contradicts my earlier positions on England refusing to tour Zimbabwe, I'd still say there's no contradiction. England is well within its rights to refuse to tour Zimbabwe on political, security or moral grounds. However the ECB forfeited the right to take a moral stand when it promised to tour Zimbabwe if Zimbabwe toured England last year. Mind you, this is the same Zimbabwe with who England refused to have any truck with and in fact forfeited its game in the World Cup at Harare. For monetary reasons, the ECB convinced the ZCU into sending Zimbabwe to England. Yet, when it comes to the ZCU making money, the ECB gets squirmy about playing in Zimbabwe?
CBS is copping a lot of flak for its investigative show aired yesterday about Princess Diana's death.
S Gurumurthy has a REALLY LONG rant on Sonia Gandhi becoming PM being a national disaster.
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