Sunday, May 13, 2007

Howard obstructs Australian cricket tour

This is politics clashing in the businsess of international sports.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has ordered Australia's cricket team to pull out of their proposed tour of Zimbabwe, protesting the human rights record of Robert Mugabe's dictatorship.

The Australian Prime Minister said it was not fair to leave the decision up to Cricket Australia and the Australian players.

Cricket Australia is a member of the International Cricket Council, the ICC which is the governing body for international cricket.

The primary property of the ICC and its members is international cricket. The game is played for commercial purposes and does not have any political agenda.

Sponsorship and television rights of the World Cup brought in over US$1.6 billion between 2007 and 2015, by far the ICC’s main source of income.

Whether Zimbabwe is a country suitable to play international cricket is a matter that should be decided by the ICC.

Australian Prime Minister's intervention in this matter defeats the purpose of the ICC.

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