Melbourne: Former Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin hopes World Cup matches will go ahead as planned in his country, but believes the game is suffering there because of poor administration.
The 30-year-old Goodwin, who last August turned down an offer to play for the country of his birth in the World Cup, has described the game in Zimbabwe as “unprofessional” and fears for its future if matches are moved elsewhere.
“I think they must play there (in Zimbabwe), otherwise cricket will be pretty much a non-event in years to come,” he said. “It’s an absolute dog show — what’s happening there — and it’s not good for the cricket.
“But I also think it (a World Cup boycott) would be good in the sense that it would send a message to the (Zimbabwe) government to jack their ideas up about the country. That’s the catch-22 situation but I think, as far as cricket development goes in the country and the financial situation, they must play there.”
Both the British and Australian governments have raised concerns about playing World Cup matches in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe’s regime has attracted widespread criticism for its land reform programme.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is scheduled to meet in London on Tuesday to decide whether the England team should play against Zimbabwe in Harare on February 13.
Six of the 54 World Cup games are scheduled to be played in Zimbabwe.
Goodwin, who played 19 Tests and 71 ODIs before returning to Western Australia for the 2000-01 domestic season, believes the administration of cricket in Zimbabwe has become too political.
“I do have regrets at the way players are treated over there,” he said. “A little bit has changed now, but it had to take a few of us to retire and leave the team in a bit of bother, I suppose.
“It (the game) is struggling and a lot to do with that is the way it’s run. It’s very political,” said the batsman.