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Foreign minister will try to talk Australian cricket team out of touring Zimbabwe

Foreign minister will try to talk Australian cricket team out of touring Zimbabwe

A tour of Zimbabwe by Australia's World Cup-winning cricketers would be a propaganda coup for President Robert Mugabe and the team should not go, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Monday.
"We can't formally ban them but I'll be meeting with ... Cricket Australia ... during the course of this week and we'll be having a series of discussions about how to manage this," Downer told a Perth radio station.
"Normally I'm not a great fan of bringing politics into sport but in this particular case I think it is appropriate we should ... take a very (tough) stand against Mugabe's regime and do our best to stop the cricketers."
Western governments have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to protest Mugabe's human rights record, including a brutal clampdown in March on opposition activists.
Cricket Australia would be subject to International Cricket Council sanctions if it boycotted, unless the tour was prohibited by the Australian government or if the safety of players became a big issue.
Downer reaffirmed the federal government would pay a US$2 million (


Updated : 2021-10-18 01:01 GMT+08:00