Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Let's talk cricket

I've heard it said that if you want an idea of how a nation's really doing, take a look at their prison system. Such an observation might yield telling results in the case of Zimbabwe but there's one exception. I'm pretty sure the shambles that are Zimbabwe's prisons would do little telling when it comes to this one factor we know is endemic among the nation's bourgeoisie: an unfettered greed and insatiable lust for power.

Nowhere is this more apparent in Zimbabwe than in the sporting arena. Zimbabwe's sports are performing dismally and there almost no domestic leagues for talent to be groomed. And it is not for a lack of talent that that the nation's test cricket team has been winless for ages. We have cricketers all over the world competing in premiere leagues but have no desire to turn for their nation. The same is true for soccer, golf, tennis, rugby, swimming and pretty much any other athletic activity you can find on the continent.

Here's what has happened right before our very own eyes. Just like they did with the farms, numerous government cronies have muscled their way into positions in sports where they have no knowledge to be in. Just like the farms, sports like tennis, rugby and swimming had been managed eff iciently and were generating huge profits that saw unmatched grassroots development and grooming of impressive talent. When the avaricious cronies of government who had been watching enviously as Zimbabwe's sports became the pride of the nation saw an opportunity to stick their filthy paws into the gold pot, they did so at their first opportunity.

Riding a vile momentum from the seizure of farm across the country, people like Osias Bvute swooped into board rooms claiming to be extending the "third chimurenga" when what they really wanted was the money. In just a few short years of unchecked pillaging there's nothing left for brave souls that have chosen to shamelessly represent their country.

Late last week, we learnt of young Tatenda Taibu's self imposed exile from his own house in fear for his own life. Taibu is the 22 year old wicketkeeper and captain of national cricket side who lent his voice to calls for reviewed player contracts. We're not talking club sports here, we talking about the very people who represent the nation around the world. In Zimbabwe, they have no contracts. What gets me is that all the administrators and "front office" people have their unjustified contracts laid out. Now that the players are demanding what's rightfully theirs, people want harass them claming they are "being used by whites"? How sick is that? What infuriates me most is that these valiant souls can't even lift up a finger to protest for what is rightfully their.

But then again, what else is new? This is Zimbabwe, if you want something that you think you deserve better that the next person and you happen to be a ZANU thug, you can have it. That's the kind of society we live in now.
So if you want an idea of how well a society is doing, take a look at their sports.

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