14 May, 2021

The Land Mine Principle

Mugabe's land 'reform' plans run back to England's colonisation. But still, it's just not cricket.

The Land Mine Principle
Whatever is right or wrong in Zimbabwe, or with England playing cricket there, in the end this will be about two points and a few million pounds. That is what the England and Wales Cricket Board (the Wales bit is English politeness) stands to lose if they do not play that World Cup match in Zimbabwe on February 13. The ECB would have to pay a heavy fine, and despite the win in the last Ashes Test, England will need every one of those two points in the World Cup.

Until January 9, the ECB was still considering pulling out (though not keenly) if the government were to compensate the loss in pounds. But Tessa Jowell, minister in the department of culture, media and sport, belied the hopes of ECB bosses for compensation. Which makes it near certain that England will go to Zimbabwe. The 15 board members of the ECB are expected to take a decision soon.

"We have made it quite clear to the cricket authorities that we believe it is wrong that they should go, and I hope they take into account the advice," Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons. "Whether they do so or...

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