A New Zealand cricket team has begun a series of matches in Rhodesia and South Africa in defiance of the New Zealand Government, which has expressed strong disapproval of the tour.
A New Zealand cricket team has begun a series of matches in Rhodesia and South Africa in defiance of the New Zealand Government, which has expressed strong disapproval of the tour. But under New Zealand law, it is understood there is nothing to prevent the team from making the tour -- which was planed in secrecy to avoid any demonstrations against the team in New Zealand before its departure on August 23.
The team -- from Hamilton town's Tui Cricket Club -- is defying the New Zealand Government's appeal to sportsmen to avoid sporting contacts with South African until teams there were picked without racial discrimination, and a ban on sporting contacts with Rhodesia under United Nations sanctions against the illegal Smith regime.
A New Zealand organisation named "HART" -- Hall all racial tours -- said it had appealed to the United Nations for a full investigation of the Club's tour. Its chairman, Mr. Trevor Richards, said: "This breach of sanctions against the illegal Smith regime is not only a moral breach of international law, but it is also a clear and blatant breach of New Zealand law."
The tour organiser, Hamilton lawyer, Mr. Rob McKinnon, said he was opposed to the New Zealand Government's views and did not believe there should be political interference in sport.
The eight-match tour will also take the team to Malawi.
SYNOPSIS: A secluded country club near Salisbury, the capital of Rhodesia -- and a clandestine cricket match. It was between a New Zealand team, which departed from its home country under a blanket of secrecy last month in defiance of the New Zealand Government, and a white Rhodesian team. The New Zealand team manager Rob McKinnon -- on the right -- said he didn't agree with "political interference in sport".
The New Zealanders, who fielded first, are from the Tui Cricket Club from the town of Hamilton. The new of the eight-match tour, covering Rhodesia, South Africa and Malawi, only broke after the team had left. Mr. McKinnon said the secrecy was imposed to avoid anti-apartheid demonstrations and to protect the wives and families of the sixteen cricketers. Earlier, the New Zealand Government had appealed to all sportsmen in the country to avoid sporting contacts with South Africa while South African retained colour discriminations in its own sporting teams. It's also alleged by an anti-racial group that the tour is in defiance of United Nations sanctions on Rhodesia, illegal ruled by the Smith regime. The group -- named "HART" or Halt All Racial Tours -- says it has already protested to the United Nations and called for an inquiry into the affair.
The New Zealanders -- who went in to bat after tea--are no strangers to their government's policy. In July, the New Zealand cabinet banned all visits to New Zealand by South African sports teams until apartheid in sport was removed the them Prime Minister, Mr. Norman Kirk, who died a few days ago, said that the appearance of "pathetically few" non-white spectators at specially-organised so-called multi-racial events in South Africa itself would not convince him that apartheid had been removed from sport.
Meanwhile, in Rhodesia, this international event was an all-white affair.