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Asking players to wear armbands is a cop-out

Asking players to wear armbands is a cop-out

Suggestions that Black Cap players undertake on-field protests in Zimbabwe is yet another diversionary tactic to distract from the fact that the Government is not prepared to take decisive action to stop the tour, the Green Party says.

"The Government, having failed for four months to show moral leadership on Zimbabwe, is now asking players to take costly, personal stands," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

"Phil Goff is asking players to wear black armbands or protest messages on their shirts, even though this would cost them dearly, both financially and in cricketing terms."

It is against the ICC's clothing and equipment regulations for cricketers to wear black armbands or political messages of any kind on playing shirts. The penalty for breaching these regulations is a US$25,000 fine per player and possible disciplinary action. These regulations have been tightened since Henry Olonga and Andy Flower wore black armbands to mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe in 2003.

"The Government is asking individual Black Caps to take stands which will cost them very dearly. If all the Black Caps' followed Mr Goff's advice, the team would face a fine of half a million dollars.

"So, while Mr Goff is not prepared to direct NZ Cricket not to tour because he doesn't want to interfere with NZ Cricket's contract, he is quite prepared to ask individual players to breach their contractual obligations and face whopping personal fines.

"The Government has dragged the chain on this issue since I raised it with them in April. It is now trying to pass the buck to the players because it is still unwilling to take the necessary steps to prevent the tour from going ahead."

© Scoop Media

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