Zimbabwe has lost its latest Test, against New Zealand, by an innings and 294 runs. The match lasted two days. After NZ amassed 9-452, Zimbabwe were dismissed for 59 and 99.
I'm all for getting cricketing "minnows" up to Test standard. The problem is that Zimbabwe has had 13 years to produce a competitive team. There have certainly been some great moments, and some great Test-class players, but their record is shocking.
With the nation of Zimbabwe descending into anarchy and chaos under the increasingly unstable Robert Mugabe, the nation's cricket infrastructure is falling apart. The situation with Zimbabwean cricket is unique. South Africa may have been banned because of Apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s, but they at least had a functioning infrastructure and law and order (albeit unfair). This meant that when they returned to international cricket in the early 1990s, they were, and still are, an exceptionally competitive side. Pakistan since its formation may have been a dictatorship, but there is still a functioning cricket infrastructure in the nation.
Zimbabwe's cricket is obviously worse than when they were awarded Test status in 1992. Even with a return of some banned players, their standard of play is exceptionally low. Their national team is unlikely to even play at first class standard.
There has always been the question of whether tours to or from Zimbabwe should be boycotted because of the imbecilic rule of Robert Mugabe. There is a far more obvious reason why they should no longer play tests - they are just not good enough.
Zimbabwe should lose its Test status. Hopefully Mugabe will be ousted and a new, democratic government can be set in place that is able to provide stability, peace and prosperity for the nation's ordinary citizens. Along with that process would come a rebuilding of the nation's sporting infrastructure, including cricket.
But until that happens, they should be banned.
From the this Salient Sportinglife Department
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.