Monday, May 28, 2007

Tanzanian cricketers visit Australia

The Tanzanian national team is one of the eight nations playing in the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Darwin this week.

This tournament provides a stepping stone towards qualification for the 2011 World Cup. The top two teams from this event will join UAE, Namibia, Denmark and Oman in Windhoek, Namibia at the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, in November. The top teams from that tournament will go to the ICC World Cup Qualifier in the UAE in 2009.

Tanzania have prepared for the competition with a three week training camp in India in April, which saw them take on five local sides in warm-up matches. Hamisi Abdallah's side also gained valuable experience when they took on some of the Associate member countries taking part in the World Cricket League Division One in Nairobi in January, although they did suffer a 79 run defeat to Scotland.

I'm glad to see the Tanzanian national team visiting Australia. Cricket seems to be one of the most skilled and least violent of the big international games, so it is a sport that I would like to see encouraged. And, as the Australian government recently banned the Australian cricket team from visiting Zimbabwe as a sign of disapproval of the Mugabe regime, it is important that we put out the welcome mat for other African countries.

While I understand the impetus towards African solidarity, I am disturbed to see African countries put solidarity with the Mugabe regime ahead of broad principles of fairness and effective government. In the same way, I get annoyed by the stance that 'Africa is a hopeless case, look at Zimbabwe'. The poor practices of the Mugabe regime reflect on all African countries. So, I am glad that I have learnt a bit about Tanzania, because it allows me to point towards other African countries that are relatively well-run but still desperately poor.

What reason is there not to help, when you find a good project in a country that is working hard to improve the standard of governance and the economy? You can help to ensure that the future leaders of Tanzania, get an education that includes solid values as well as the broad foundations for effective professional lives.

Give your support to the School of St Jude, in Arusha, Tanzania and help Fight Poverty Through Education.

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