CSA sidesteps moral landmine

Cricket SA will support tours to Zimbabwe as long as they are full ICC members and the SA government allows them to.

This follows media criticism of South Africa A’s current Zimbabwean tour. Australia and the West Indies have both cancelled scheduled tours to Zimbabwe recently due to its on-going political turmoil and human rights abuses.

However, new CSA president Norman Arendse said South Africa would not follow their example.

“The Zimbabwe issue was debated fully, and at length, at the ICC annual general meeting held in London in late June this year. Despite initial criticism from countries like Australia, England and New Zealand, after full debate and discussion, the full member countries of the ICC unanimously agreed to retain Zimbabwe as a full member.

“The full member countries also agreed it is not for the ICC to take up any moral or political stance on any issue in any of the full member countries. CSA is therefore committed to fulfilling its ICC obligations, and will only not do so, if instructed by the South African government whether to play there or not.

Arendse is likely to face ongoing claims that he is not impartial on the issue. As a lawyer, he was retained by Zimbabwe Cricket to act against its own rebel players, led by Heath Streak, in 2004.