Cricket Australia says it~~s up to the government if it wants to ban Zimbabwe

Published: Tuesday, June 28, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Sydney:Cricket Australia acknowledged the government had a right to impose sporting bans on other countries after officials revealed they were considering campaigning for Zimbabwe to be barred from international cricket.

But the organisation said that in recent years the government had allowed it to select its own opponents and reiterated the International Cricket Council's (ICC) argument that cricket needed to involve as many nations as possible to ensure its viability.

"Cricket Australia welcomes the Australian government's position in recent years that it is Cricket Australia's decision as to whom it plays cricket against," the sport's governing body said in a statement to AFP.

"However, Cricket Australia acknowledges that the Australian government, either on its own or in partnership with other nations, has a legitimate right to impose international sanctions.

The comments come after Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said he was considering a New Zealand request that Australia and Britain join it in lobbying the ICC to ban Zimbabwe.

"We're looking at whether we couldn't go to the International Cricket Council and say ... given the level of human rights abuses that are now taking place in Zimbabwe, it's not appropriate for cricket matches to be played against Zimbabwe," Downer told reporters late Monday.

He said the government would consult with Cricket Australia before it decided whether to lobby the ICC.

Cricket Australia said the government had raised the Zimbabwe issue and would advise it if it decided to seek a ban.

The New Zealand government wants the ban in place before the Black Caps' scheduled tour to Zimbabwe in August, on the grounds that cricketers should not be playing in a country with such extensive human rights abuses.

The regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been cracking down on what it calls illegal settlements in a campaign which human rights groups say has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Write Comments