Hell No, We Won’t Go

16 03 2008

As often as not, when sports and politics collide, sports-fans decry the meeting. Without a doubt, it’s a nasty pairing. One is pure escapism – verily ‘games’, and the other is – or rather, should be – of the utmost seriousness. And with the Olympic Games looming in Beijing, more sports/politics unrest could follow.

No Aussie Cricket for Pakistan…

Just recently the Australian cricket team pulled out of a tour to Pakistan, due to fears over safety whilst the tour would be on. Officially, the word ‘postponed’ is used – but in reality, it’s been canceled. Tours of other countries within cricket happen on a relatively regular basis – ‘postponing indefinitely’ amounts to ‘well-this-time-we’re-not-coming’.

James Sutherland, CA’s CEOCricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said in a recent interview with Australia’s ABC

“There are a couple of windows in 2009 and 2010, there might be a little bit of massaging in order to make that happen… but I guess that’s where we are setting our sights at the moment.”

Pretty much just platitudes, but at this point in time, Cricket Australia has very little else to offer Pakistan.

The tour was due to begin at the end of March, but current players and CA itself had continually expressed fears over Pakistan’s ability to maintain security in a country where conflicts appear to be escalating. The recent bomb blast in Lahore (one of the venues slated on the tour) which killed 20 really forced CA into this decision… a decision that received supported from the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith.

Hopefully, this will all facilitate a speedy and equitable resolution to the issues that exist there. Yes, a cricket tour of Pakistan by Australia being canceled is only a small drop in the ocean… but it is a drop.

Eventually there’ll be another tour, and that will be good for cricket. But Australia deciding not to tour Pakistan because of the current problems there, and with the support of the Australian government… that’s good for cricket too.