Durban: South African cricketer Errol Stewart, who is expected to be picked for the country’s A team to play in Zimbabwe at the end of this month, has openly come out against going to that country.
Stewart, who is a lawyer by profession and secretary of the South African Players’ Association, said in an interview with the Sunday Times, that his views were personal and did not represent other players.
“As a lawyer I’m particularly sensitive to the disregard of the rule of law in Zimbabwe,” Stewart said.
“Pressure has been brought to bear on senior judges and I just can’t agree with the land grabs. Added to this has been persecution of ordinary Zimbabweans and unequal distribution of food aid.
“I don’t think Robert Mugabe is interested in democracy, I really don’t. Having said this, my decision would be based on several considerations.
ECB, FA poles apart
Even the English Football Association (FA) has turned down an invitation for the England team to visit Zimbabwe in May because they considered it inappropriate.
England play a friendly against South Africa in Durban on May 22 and were offered a fee to set up a pre-match training camp.
David Davies, the FA chief executive, has said the offer and fee to play in Zimbabwe had been immediately declined.
ECB chief executive Tim Lamb said the two issues could not be compared.
“We spoke to Davies this week and he was very keen that the FA should not be seen to be scoring a point over the ECB here,” he said.
“It’s much easier to make a decision when another organisation has already gone in and tested the temperature of the water.
“It’s a very different scenario, we’re talking about a cricket World Cup match instead of just a friendly. We’ve signed a contract and the FA hasn’t,” Lamb said.