JOHANNESBURG – In the first week of November 2018 Zimbabwe stunned the cricket world by beating Bangladesh by 151 runs in Sylhet in the first of two Tests.
It had been nearly a year since Zimbabwe had last played a Test - a hastily arranged day/night affair in Port Elizabeth - and so the rest of the world was right to be shocked by the outcome of that match against Bangladesh, who had earned significant respect in home conditions with wins against England and Australia in the preceding 18 months.
Who knows when Zimbabwe will next get an opportunity to play a Test? Who knows when the Zimbabwean teams - men, women and juniors - will next get opportunities to play, after the International Cricket Council suspended Zimbabwe Cricket this week.
The suspension ostensibly relates to what the ICC terms is government interference in cricket in Zimbabwe. That is weird. Governments interfere in cricket all the time it would seem and at no point has Sri Lanka, India or South Africa - to name three - been suspended by the ICC.
In SA’s case it was the setting up of the Nicholson Commission in 2011 by the then Sports Minister; Sri Lanka’s Sports Ministry regularly involves itself in the affairs of that country’s cricket board, last year setting up a committee to run the sport; and India’s BCCI is still overseen by what is called the Committee of Administrators, a three-person group appointed by that country’s Supreme Court. No ICC sanctions were handed down in those cases.