The ICC has compromised again on the Zimbabwe question. In terms of the internal voting bloc logic the decision certainly makes sense. From the BCCI's point of view, that is. Here's Kevin Mitchell for the Guardian on the moral argument:
While cricket was never going to solve the political problems of
Zimbabwe, nor were the International Cricket Council going to have the
courage to take a wider moral stance, even in the face of atrocities,
starvation and the daily spectacle of a nation cowed by a dictator. As
an ICC spokesman said: 'We are not mandated to talk about politics.' Or
death, it seems.
What matters to the ICC is they have been saved
from making a judgment call (which they would have fudged by suspending
Zimbabwe temporarily because 'they are not good enough'), and England
don't lose their big-money gig. While England and South Africa
suspended cricket relations with Zimbabwe last week, the ICC, their
strings pulled by the Asian bloc, are adamant Zimbabwe will keep full
membership and funding. All that has been saved is a tournament.
Nothing else changes.
A Cricketing View attempts to separate out the moral and the sporting issues at stake:
If the ICC's consideration of the matter
can be criticized, it is because they did Cricket a disservice in the
arguments that they considered. In my view, Robert Mugabe's methods
ought not to be discussed at an ICC meeting, any more than the issue of
Kashmir should be discussed there. It is none of the ICC's business. If
at all Zimbabwe was to be stripped of full member nation status, it
should have been because they have a very weak cricket team which is
clearly not good enough to be a Test team (much like Bangladesh). This
would have been a discussion of cricketing interest.
Q has a blow by blow fly-on-the-wall account of the meeting. Meanwhile Michael Holding quits from the ICC's Cricket Committee because of their other big decision: making the England Pakistan game at the Oval into a draw. And lastly, but by no means least, Cricket Australia's James Sutherland fires off a shot at the whole idea of private ownership of cricket teams (but, then, what is the BCCI or the MCC anyway if not private?).