The Sri Lankan government is hoping the Australian cricket tour will distract from the economic and political crisis engulfing the country, writes Binoy Kampmark.
Afghanistan, a country gripped by misery, tyranny and an uncertain future, is having moments of joy and pride, thanks to the men’s national cricket team, reports Yasmeen Afghan.
In post-9/11 Afghanistan, music and cricket became an escape from the twin violence of United States occupation and Taliban terrorism. Farooq Sulehria reports that with the return of the Taliban these cultural activities are now under attack.
Alex Salmon reviews a new book by anti-Apartheid activists about how sport both upheld the racist status quo and became a crucial site of resistance.
While Australia and Sri Lanka battled it out at the Sydney Cricket Ground early this month, a Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker on a bridging visa living in Hamilton Hill, a victim of torture, died in Fremantle Hospital after attempting suicide last Thursday. The tragic event played out as momentum grows for a boycott of Sri Lankan cricket, lead by former cricket writer for The Age Trevor Grant.
A protest to boycott Sri Lankan cricket was held in Melbourne on December 26. Photos by Tony Iltis.
The world of international cricket has been rocked by allegations of a betting scandal involving players in Pakistan’s national cricket team. British tabloid News of the World published allegations that Pakistan players had bowled “no-balls” at an exact moment in the game in return for money from bookmakers. The scandal has also raised speculation of Pakistan players being involved in match-fixing on behalf of bookmakers. Three Pakistani players have been suspended from international cricket and charged by the International Cricket Council over their alleged role in the scandal.
I have been a fan of many sports for a very long time. I have especially followed the game of cricket for more than 50 years and I have to confess to having spent more time watching, listening and reading about it than almost any other topic.
As Tiger Woods returns to golf, not all his affairs are salacious headlines. In Dubai, the Tiger Woods Golf Course is costing $100 million to build. Dubai relies on cheap Third World labour, as do certain consumer brands that have helped make Woods a billionaire. Nike workers in Thailand wrote to Woods, expressing their “utmost respect for your skill and perseverance as an athlete” but pointing out that they would need to work 72,000 years “to receive what you will earn from [your Nike] contract”.