Australia bans controversial Zimbabwe cricket boss
Controversial Zimbabwe cricket chairman Peter Chingoka has branded as "outrageous" his ban on entering Australia as his troubled African nation battles for a return to Test ranks.
Chingoka insists he is a humble "cricket man" - not a pawn of disgraced Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
Chingoka returned to the spotlight as a guest of the Indian Cricket Board at last night's one-day clash in Nagpur, 10 months after being barred from an ICC meeting in Perth due to links with the Mugabe regime. A denial of his visa request by the Australian Government and similar issues with the European Union last year still annoy Chingoka - enough to break his silence.
"The reasons given were outrageous, that I promoted and supported violence before, during and after the (Zimbabwe) election," said Chingoka, sitting poolside at Australia's team hotel.
Chingoka had been accused of presiding over financial irregularities as chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket - critics fear millions of dollars in ICC funding was diverted to support Mugabe's dictatorship. But cricket's all-powerful Asian bloc sponsored his survival and valuable vote, even forcing a shift of the annual ICC board meeting from England for the first time when the 55-year-old was refused a UK visa last year.
However, the arrival of Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe Prime Minister in a Unity Government coincided with a retreat from public life from Chingoka.
In the interim, former Zimbabwe captains Alistair Campbell and Heath Streak returned from isolation as chairman of selectors and head coach respectively and a five-franchise domestic league began.
Zimbabwe defeated Bangladesh in the first of a five-match series on Tuesday.