Racism row hits cricket in Zimbabwe

Worried administrator calls for urgent summit in March as cricket Board rejects minister's diktat that limits scope for Blacks

updated: January 30, 2013 14:13 IST
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Just days before its national team flies out to the West Indies for a full series against the Caribbeans, Zimbabwean cricket has been rocked by allegations of racism. Zimbabwe have been a hotbed of racism ever since it got 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.

According to website 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, of course, has never played for Zimbabwe.

The chief selector's allegation has stirred the hornet's nest. Expecting a 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".

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