MacGill decision an 18-month worry - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

MacGill decision an 18-month worry

By Paul Mulvey 22/04/2004 06:00:34 AM Comments (0)

Stuart MacGill had been worried about the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe for over a year before deciding to make himself unavailable for Australia's cricket tour to the troubled African state.

The leg spinner said he was no political activist and did not want to be used by any lobby groups after making his moral stance not to tour Zimbabwe, where president Robert Mugabe continues to strangle the country with human rights abuses.

MacGill, who is currently playing English county cricket for Nottinghamshire, said he had taken an interest in the situation in Zimbabwe after touring there with Australia in 2002.

"We had a great tour there two years ago and I enjoyed it so much I chose to take a greater interest in what was going on there," he said after the first day's play of Nottinghamshire's match against Durham in Chester-le-Street.

"That's what has led me to this point. It's not a security or safety issue, it's about me being comfortable with myself.

"If I have feelings such as I have had for the last 12-18 months it would be inappropriate for me not to act.

"I am firmly behind the ICC's development program and want to assist in it, but this is a larger issue than Zimbabwean cricket.

"I have been contemplating issues outside cricket in making this decision, but I don't want to become a political figure.

"If I were to be more specific I could be misquoted or be used by particular groups to illustrate their cause.

"I have been reading as much about Zimbabwe as I could get my hands on and giving it a lot of thought.

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