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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > PTI > Report

Aussie PM wants shift in venue

Agencies | February 21, 2003 13:28 IST

Prime Minister John Howard made a last minute appeal to the International Cricket Council to shift Australia's World Cup match with Zimbabwe, due to be played in Bulawayo on Monday, to some other venue.

Howard, who has pressed for Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth to be extended until the end of the year, suggested Kenya or South Africa as alternatives.

"I've never argued that the Australian team should unilaterally pull out if it didn't want to," Howard told a Melbourne radio station. "I haven't put that kind of moral pressure on the Australian team.

"My argument has been that the International Cricket Council should have listened to the views of the British and New Zealand governments and shifted all of the games from Zimbabwe to either Kenya or South Africa."

The PM said the Australian team was stuck in a situation where they felt compelled to fulfill their contracts with the Australian Cricket Board.

"I think they're really stuck with a situation that could have been avoided if the International Cricket Council had taken another view." Howard denied it was embarrassing for Australia, having taken such a hard line against Zimbabwe's regime, to have its cricketers play there.

"I never think the Australian cricket team embarrasses this country," Howard said.

The Rediff Comment: Is it just us, or do you too think this whole situation is getting ridiculous?

New Zealand does not want to play in Kenya. England boycotts its match in Zimbabwe. Now the Aussie premier wants the scheduled game in Zimbabwe shifted -- and he says he wouldn't mind Kenya, a land so terrible that the Kiwis are mortally scared to go there.

For god's sake, what is it going to take before participating nations understand that an international event is an international event, and cannot be treated like a family outing?

In any event the ICC, having turned down similar requests from both England and New Zealand, is now in no position to accede to the Aussie request without being thought partisan.


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Number of User Comments: 8

Sub: kenya and zimbawe

Looks as if both the teams will manage to go in super six without playing much matches. This should not happen in international event like ...

Posted by vivek pardeshi

Sub: Aus vs Zimbab way...

Like the Others Ausiee's should be ready to play, else its the simplest way to Super 6 to the Zimbabwe team...

Posted by Prabhakaran

Sub: apartheid

I smell apartheid in this world cup as it is played in african nations and some of the white countries r reading too much into ...

Posted by raja

Sub: Not fair to other teams

To say the least this World cup has been the most ill-organized world cup of all. While making sure that none of the players, spectators ...

Posted by Rahul Kulkarni

Sub: now what???

this whole matter is getting so ugly, someone gotta stop it right now. whatz all this fuss 'bout not going to zimbabwe and kenya? india ...

Posted by kalyan


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