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    July 03, 2008

    Bvute & Chingoka are right, let's focus on the cricketing aspects!

    The ICC will today come to a decision over how to handle the current situation around Zimbabwe's status in international cricket. Last week,
    I posted my views on the topic. They were primarily centred around Zimbabwe's cricketing credentials. I wrote:
    Zimbabwe doesn't feature in the ICC test rankings since they haven't played a test for nearly three years now. The last time Zimbabwe won a ODI against major countries other than Bangladesh was in November 2007 (against West Indies). Before that, we go back to November 2003 (West Indies again!). They've been that pathetic.

    Let's just give you some idea of how long ago they last played a test. That last test featured Sourav Ganguly as India's captain and Greg Chappell as India's coach. This was the test after the one where Ganguly revealed that Chappell had asked him to quit as captain. In 3 years, so much has changed: Ganguly was out of the side for over a year while Chappell resigned after the pathetic show at the 2007 World Cup.
    Zimbabwe Cricket's Managing Director Ozias Bvute had questioned why only the ICC was discussing Zimbabwe when other sporting bodies were not. He pointed out that Zimbabwe was playing in a World Cup qualifier and a Zimbabwean swimmer had won gold medals and broken world records at the World Championship. The chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, Peter Chingoka, claimed that a ban on Zimbabwe would be for political reasons and not cricketing. Like his MD, he also pointed out that there were no moves to ban Zimbabwe from other international sporting events or organisations.

    Perhaps therein lies the problem: Zimbabwe have a FIFA ranking of 82 out of ~ 200 countries while Kirsty Coventry obviously can swim. Zimbabwe's footballers and swimmers are not banned from international competition because they are competitive. The time has come to rethink about Zimbabwe's status in international cricket because the cricketers are not competitive, as has already been pointed out last week.

    Mike Atherton too says the same thing. Since the 2003 World Cup, which is about the time after which Zimbabwe's cricket started going into free-fall, Zimbabwe have tied with Ireland, lost twice to Kenya and 15 times to Bangladesh, without even going into their performances against better opponents.

    Zimbabwe's cricketing credentials are surely poor enough to stop all debate about whether the ZCU should continue to be a full member of the ICC. I suspect the compromise reached, which will ensure that the BCCI gets 1 vote from Zimbabwe, is that Zimbabwe will continue as a full member but without the same amount of monetary assistance from the ICC. The BCCI will do its bit by hosting Zimbabwe in the Duleep and Deodhar Trophies. Other sub-continental boards will also do similar things.

    PS: What on earth has happened to Irfan Pathan?! Just six months ago, he was man of the match, winning a test match for India at Perth. He did a decent job in the Commonwealth Bank triangular series as well. He picked up 15 wickets @ 23 each with a good economy rate of 6.6 in the IPL. Now, his bowling has lost all sting and he's repeatedly getting carted around. Is it because of the wickets he's bowling on? Or has he not completely recovered from the injury?

    Yesterday against Pakistan, India's opening bowling combination (Pathan & Praveen Kumar) was probably its friendliest & most non-threatening since Abid Ali & Eknath Solkar did the job in India's first ever ODI.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 3:19 PM |
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