Racism row rocks Zim cricket
Cape Town - Just days before its national team flies out to the West Indies, Zimbabwean cricket has been rocked
by allegations of racism.
According to the NDTV Sports website
, Zimbabwe has been a hotbed of racism ever
since it received ICC recognition with several white players quitting the
nation for safer pastures in nations like Australia. The recent row
erupted after Sports Minister David Coltart made it a "must" for national
selectors to have played for Zimbabwe.
reports, Givemore Makoni, the convenor of selectors that picked the
squad to the West Indies, accused Coltart of racism, arguing there was a
very small pool of former black players to choose from and the minister's directive would ultimately see the selection panel headed
only by whites. Makoni has never played for Zimbabwe.
backlash, Zimbabwe Cricket chief Peter Chingoka has summoned an urgent
meeting among the game's chief stake holders to confront the issues.
Zimbabwe Cricket has clearly said it wouldn't implement Coltart's
directive, calling it to be "illegal".
Chingoka said on Tuesday:
"There have been recent incidents that are disturbing. There have been
reports of black and white players using separate buses on senior team
"At the ICC Under-19 World Cup held in Australia in August
last year, white batsmen alleged that blacks were bowling short pitched
balls to them in the nets and counter allegations by black bowlers were
that white fielders were reluctant to restrict runs from their
"Our domestic leagues have not been spared either, as
there has been a marked increase in the number of disciplinary
allegations initiated by allegations of racism."
his proposed summit was to discuss and unpack the elements of (our)
strained race relations with the objective of creating mutual
understanding and dealing with the demons that continue to haunt the
Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, cricket was primarily a white sport.
In 2001, Zimbabwe Cricket established what it called an Integration Task
Force aimed at enhancing opportunities for blacks in cricket.
was resistance to what some saw as affirmative action and an exodus of
white players beginning in 2004 was seen by black players and
administrators as a racist plot to weaken the team and project blacks as
Most of the players who quit, including the former
captain Heath Streak, have since returned as coaches after
Zimbabwe Cricket extended an olive branch.
Zimbabwe are scheduled to play three ODIs, two T20s and two Tests against the West Indies, starting on February 22.