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  #1  
Old April 20, 2004, 08:10 AM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Default Zimbabwe Crisis: News and Views

Non-white trio 'played under duress'

Nothing is straightforward where Zimbabwean cricket is concerned these days. Less than 24 hours after three of the current new-look Zimbabwe side issued a public denial of weekend reports that they were planning on joining the banned rebels, a local reporter has claimed that the three only did so under duress.

On Sunday, several media sources carried articles which said that Dion Ebrahim, Douglas Hondo and Mluleki Nkala were all on the verge of withdrawing from the Zimbabwe squad.

On Monday, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union issued a statement on behalf of the three. "We the undersigned have no intention of boycotting or pulling out of the squad. We are proud to be selected and will fulfil our commitment to Zimbabwe cricket."

But a local reporter, who does not wish to be named, overheard a heated exchange in the team's hotel on Monday which left him "convinced that [the players] were forced to make the statement".

He witnessed Steven Mangango, Zimbabwe's new convenor of selectors, shouting at Hondo. "You are being stupid," he yelled. "How can you side with those white racists?"

Mangango, a known pro-Mugabe hardliner, is a key official at Takashinga, a club closely linked with the drive for more black players in the game. An administrator of Asian descent met him last week, and the conversation is quoted in today's Guardian . "When this whole Streak issue came up, Steven looked at me and demanded, 'Are you with the whites or the blacks? You guys must decide.'"

There is also confusion surrounding the relationship between Dion Ebrahim and Macsood Ebrahim. The ZCU statement claimed it was "untrue and false" that the two were related. But that doesn't tally with what Dion Ebrahim has claimed previously. "I once spoke to Dion Ebrahim and he told me that he is related to Macsood Ebrahim," a local source told us. "He said Macsood is his uncle and now I am shocked that he is denying it."

The demoralising effect events are having on Zimbabwe's cricketers was highlighted by comments from one of their up-and-coming players (Who again, for obvious reasons, didn't want to be named).

"It's so sad it has come to this," he said. "I remember when I was 12 or 13, watching a Test match from the nets at the Harare Sports Club and looking at the players on the field, wishing … hoping that one day I would have the honour of playing for my country and wearing the prized baggy green. My Test cap sits at home now, whether I will have the pleasure of donning it once again is uncertain.

"Why can't I just play cricket and fulfill a life-long dream of one day walking off the field for the last time while the sun goes down at the Sports Club, take my cap off and leave because it's my time … Sit in the changing-room and say farewell to all my friends who too have fought for the honour to wear and fight under the baggy green. What a nightmare this is for all of us."

Cricinfo >>
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  #2  
Old April 20, 2004, 08:11 AM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Default Leading journalist expelled from Zimbabwe

Mihir Bose, the awardwinning sports journalist, has been thrown out of Zimbabwe by immigration officials and will leave on a flight from Harare this afternoon.

The Indian-born Bose, an investigative writer, had been sent to cover the Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka series by the London-based Daily Telegraph. "He's been deported," a spokesman for the newspaper confirmed. "He is packing now and will be catching an afternoon flight to Johannesburg."

Bose arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday afternoon. A couple of hours after checking into his hotel, a representative from the department of immigration arrived and confiscated his passport. This morning he was issued with a letter of deportation and escorted to the airport. In February last year, Bose presciently wrote in the Telegraph: "The Mugabe regime seem to be targeting the written British media."

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union claimed that Bose's application for accreditation arrived too late at their offices, and was also incorrectly completed.

Bose is the second reporter from the Telegraph to fall foul of the Zimbabwe authorities. Simon Briggs was refused entry during last year's World Cup, despite having all the correct accreditation. No reason was given, but he was warned by an immigration official that "if you do not get back on that plane you will be forced to get on it".

Zimbabwe's relationship with the UK has deteriorated in recent years – the BBC is banned altogether as it is considered a "terrorist" organisation - and the government has imposed severe restrictions on journalists operating inside the country. Jonathan Moyo, the information minister, has led a purge on foreign correspondents.

The timing of the latest expulsion is particularly embarrassing for Peter Chingoka, the Zimbabwe board's chairman, who is in London to try to convince his England counterparts that November's planned series between the two sides should go ahead.

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  #3  
Old April 20, 2004, 08:13 AM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Default \'Many people there are very scared indeed\'

To be fair to us, the rest of the world, it can be very difficult to see what's really happening in another country when the messages coming out of it are so mixed. The Zimbabwe situation is a complex one, but one thing is very clear, and it's something the rest of the world hasn't yet picked up on: most people there are scared, and many are very scared indeed.

There is a climate of fear in the country so pervasive that it hides the truth, because everybody is too scared to talk about it. Many people I have met and come to know well in Zimbabwe, while covering cricket there for over a decade, are clearly too scared to talk now – either because they believe somebody may be bugging their phone or because the consequences of their words being made public, even anonymously, could be devastating.

So what the hell is going on? It must seem bizarre to most cricket-lovers around the world that Heath Streak and his fellow so-called rebels should jeopardise their careers just because they didn't like the selection panel. How many selectors around the world are popular? It's an unpopular job.

What Streak and his players were really saying was "Cricket has been taken over by the politicians. Cricket is being used by the government. This is not how it is supposed to be." Michael Vaughan would do the same if Tony Blair and his Minister of Sport told him who he could select, and intimidated players and administrators into complying with his wishes. Streak and the rebel players called for accountability, and urged the cricket world to come and see for themselves.

So the London Daily Telegraph did just that, sending the renowned sports journalist Mihir Bose to Bulawayo for the first one-day international against Sri Lanka. He arrived on Monday afternoon. A couple of hours after Bose checked into his hotel, a gentleman from the Department of Immigration arrived and confiscated his passport.

On Tuesday morning Bose was issued with a letter of deportation – with no reason given – and escorted to the airport to await the 3pm flight to Johannesburg and the connecting flight to London.

So on the very day that Peter Chingoka, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman, meets the ECB to assure them of their players' safety on the scheduled tour in November this year, a sports journalist wishing to report on the cricket is deported.

Incidentally, the Zimbabwean government charges cricket journalists US$600 for the privilege of reporting on the game in that country. The word "extortion" comes to mind. The Bose incident follows a similar one involving another Telegraph journalist, Simon Briggs, during last year's World Cup – he was refused admittance to the country despite having all the correct paperwork.

The question now facing the ICC is this: are they happy to have Zimbabwe as a full member while all this is going on?

If the ICC can claim, as it always does, that it is a non-political body with no connections or allegiances to the governments of any nation, then surely they should insist that the same applies to their members. Independence is a prerequisite for sporting competition – that much is enshrined in the Olympic Charter.

There is a precedent: at the end of the 1990s Nigeria's football team was banned from international competition for two years following a government takeover of the Nigerian Football Association.

If the ICC continues to turn a blind eye to the very political interference they supposedly abhor, it will be guilty of spectacular hypocrisy.

Neil Manthorp is a partner in the South African sports agency MWP Sport.

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  #4  
Old April 20, 2004, 08:41 AM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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haven´t read everything there but they´re putting up a fight - good for taibu (shows some serious mental toughness.

panyangara too - may be a good find.

sibanda and matsikenyeri still fail to impress but nkala´s peformance so far begs the question - why was he dropped?
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  #5  
Old April 20, 2004, 02:38 PM
billah billah is offline
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Between the WC U-19 & Zim A Tour, Panyangara spent 2+ months in Bangladesh. We should have just kept him with an honorary citizenship:P Kudos to a brave young man.
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  #6  
Old April 20, 2004, 04:03 PM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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whatever you did to him - we´re grateful.

couldn´t win it (was never really on the cards) but a new captain allrounder. things looking ok for now - (try to picture a zim flag there).

[Edited on 20-4-2004 by betterdaz]
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  #7  
Old April 20, 2004, 04:48 PM
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betterdaz, its good to have you here with us. Its nice to have someone share his/her views about Zimbabwe from a local perspective.

Taibu put up a brave fight. Maybe, we were all a bit too harsh on this new team...the next few matches will surely tell the true story.
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  #8  
Old April 20, 2004, 05:48 PM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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thank you piranha- i will strive to be clear headed in my opinions on zim. and our cricket.

as for the fight put up today - as already said kudos to zim - lets hope this swallow´s flock turns up and summer begins.

you´d think we´d won today by that post:duh:

[Edited on 20-4-2004 by betterdaz]

[Edited on 20-4-2004 by betterdaz]
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  #9  
Old April 20, 2004, 11:27 PM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Default No return for Streak

Zimbabwe's senior cricket administrator says Heath Streak will not regain the national team's captaincy as a way of settling a dispute with 15 players.

Streak's re-instatement as captain has been a key demand of the group, who have refused to represent Zimbabwe until certain conditions are met.

A skeleton side lost to Sri Lanka in Tuesday's one-day international.

But Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka said: "There is no reverse gear on the captaincy."

In Streak's absence, 20-year-old wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu led Zimbabwe as they lost by 12 runs in Bulawayo.

But Chingoka is adamant he will not back down and bring back Streak as skipper.

"We can't give up on the principle because of the consequences," he said.

But he stressed he would be happy to have the absent players back on board.

"The door remains open to the players and their representatives to talk to the union in an attempt to find a solution to the very serious problems we are currently facing," Chingoka added.

BBC >>
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  #10  
Old April 21, 2004, 02:30 AM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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the whole thing is really depressing me - sad, sad, sad
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  #11  
Old April 23, 2004, 11:16 AM
mzia mzia is offline
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ZCU offers to start negotiation with 15 players. Probably 2nd ODI result against SL brought down them close to soil. Hope Streak gong will be practical also.
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  #12  
Old April 23, 2004, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mzia
ZCU offers to start negotiation with 15 players. Probably 2nd ODI result against SL brought down them close to soil. Hope Streak gong will be practical also.
nah...at least not this time. Here is the latest update:

Flower, Streak dig in heels as Zimbabwe stalemate continues
Former captain Heath Streak and batsman Grant Flower, the two most senior rebelling Zimbabwe white cricketers, on Friday rejected a latest effort at conciliation by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.
The ZCU made an offer Thursday of a "mediation mechanism" that might resolve a strike which is causing immense damage to the sport and to racial harmony within it.

The ZCU suggested independent arbitration and mentioned a prominent Zimbabwe businessman Much Masunda as mediator. Masunda runs an organisation set up for such purposes.

In return the players were expected to turn out for practice and to make themselves available for selection to the national side that will play Sri Lanka in the third of five international matches at Harare Sports Club on Sunday while the arbitration process is set up.

Streak and Flower turned down the proposal outright according to a source close to the ZCU. They agreed, however, to speak to colleagues. But by late Thursday they had made no further contact with the Union.

Efforts to reach the players' lawyer-representative Chris Venturas were unsuccessful. He is said to be in South Africa and not reachable.

Other players are holidaying in various parts of the country.

A frustrated ZCU executive consequently does not expect any of them to show up prior to the scheduled selection panel meeting Saturday morning to choose the next team.

The strike of white players began three weeks ago when they saw the removal of captain Heath Streak as a sacking by the board. They also claimed that some selections to recent Zimbabwe teams as racially motivated and part of a "quota" system to bring in more black players.

The ZCU refused to budge over what they called Streak's resignation, resulting in the impasse.

Under a previous instruction, the 15 whites were ordered "as employees" to report for practice and make themselves available, or face suspension and possible dismissal.

The deadline, which has not been amended as part of the latest move, is May 7, the second day of the first Test match against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club.
HTCricket
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  #13  
Old April 23, 2004, 06:36 PM
billah billah is offline
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This is only a personal opinion, not meant to hurt anyone's feelings here: I read the Mihir Bose piece in cricinfo. By his own account, it seems he was kicked out only after he started seriously meddling with issues that were quasi-related to sports. He was allowed into Zimbabwe just like many other journalists. He then turned into a political reporter instead of a sports one. This gave the authorities a perfect excuse to throw him out on some technicality. Mr. Bose is fully aware of the current scenario. Yet, he went and conducted secret interviews, asked political questions & was putting in considerable effort to extract information out of these peoples that would conform to his employer's views about Zimbabwe. He talks about all of it in his article. I don't know why, then he cries about being thrown out.
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  #14  
Old April 23, 2004, 09:12 PM
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AsifTheManRahman AsifTheManRahman is offline
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so betterdaz...i was just wondering...do you think that given time this team can actually become as good as the previous one?
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  #15  
Old April 24, 2004, 05:08 PM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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asif - i hope so. and given the right facilities and training i certainly think so. it would probabbly take a change in economic fortune for real progress to be made by an all black team - by which time they may not be a test playing nation .

the other equally sad possibility is that withought the white players you´re left with private-school attending men of colour (public school offer very little due to lack of resources which can only be getting worse) - this in fact cuts the talent pool by half - effectively killing the game in zim - hope not though.

billah - you will not hurt my feelings again, promise (i´m an adult and not usually that emotional)- opinions from all sides are the basis of development.

as to your opinion - to play devil´s advocate (as i only skimmed his article) - the journalist in question seemed to be asking political questions only in the sense that he was asking about it´s influence on "cricket". the authorities can´t have it all ways - are they involved in the cricketing aspects (in which case the political line of questioning would be legitimate) or is the ZCU an independent institution? he also (by his account) became interested in the political side of things when driving from the airport and being stopped by a roadblock.

is deporting journalists ever an excusable thing? is sports ever seperated from politics?

i´m not 100% sure why he wrote the article (- i got the feeling that he was more complaining about being kicked out rather than expressing any surprise about it which has it´s own tragi-humorous tone)- maybe because he felt a little disillusioned having been a voice supporting the touring of zim and criticising the ECB for being hypocrites - as far as i´ve heard.

on a cricketing note - i was just wondering if you guys are at all worried about the ever increasing possibility that zim may be removed for not being competitive enough which will set a precident (i ask this in light of zunaid´s answer to joshi´s comments on BD - once the precedence has been set no-one will have to suck anything up . After that, as we know, truth is what the majority believe or can be "cajouled" or "forced" to believe)

- or worse may instigate serious thoughts of a second tier, in which case, on a ranking basis, BD will be amoung the losers in that deal...who knows what lies on store for our troubled countries

[Edited on 24-4-2004 by betterdaz]
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  #16  
Old April 24, 2004, 06:45 PM
billah billah is offline
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Betterdaz: As you indicated, there is no such provision at ICC as relegation. With all it's popularity, cricket has only 10 countries playing at the top. If anything, I think this pool should be enlarged to 25, at least for ODIs. This will only add to the richness of the whole experience.

As for Zimbabwe's recent performance, there is nothing there to make a case against it. Zimbabwe, along with other top-tier teams, have played much worse in the past (no pun intended). Bangladesh, unfortunately, plays worse on a regular basis. ICC has been doing the right thing in supporting cricket infrastructure in the weaker nations. This, along with a large enough pool of top-tier nations, will only ensure a secure future for ICC and world cricket.

I say it again, there has been no pronounced drop in recent Zimbabwe performance to relegate them. It would be quite illogical. On the contrary, Zimbabwe cricket has just opened up to a great pool of new and bright cricketers. This is, indeed, the key to a brighter, stronger beginning for them. One wish remains, only we could enforce participation by all good cricketers regardless of race, now that would have been ideal.
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Old April 25, 2004, 05:24 PM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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to be honst - i´m quite keen on tiers.

first, iinternational schedules seem to be ruining fast bowling (to an extent) - were there ever so many regular injuries. there is simply too much cricket already. a tier system would sort this out to a large extent. though there should always be a tournament which includes all participants or progress by lower tier teams would be too slow (a yearly WCup?) also relegation and promotion prospects will add to the richness too.

as for the team - well, another bad day, officially worse than anything in the past (this is just so i can say "no pun intended", it´s light-hearted but was still officially worst day in ODI history).

this in itself is not enough to call for relegation, as the ICC hinted at and certain infuriating articles are suggesting, but SL rested 3 players and the aussies are not noted for leniency (in fact ponting said as much recently). things really could become embarrasing - which we, nor these youngsters really need.

i feel you´re being slightly over-optimistic in your claims that the standard of zim cricket hasn´t dropped markedly and that it´s opened up to a great pool of new and bright cricketers.

i can only say i truly hope you´re right - and these guys have my full support. ask yourself seriously though if you think this team would beat BD (i use BD as the EG because it´s at the bottom of the table and we did beat you recently - granted it was in zim) IMO BD would easily beat this team and the BD side which played it´s first game as a test member side would have beaten them too - i think.

that is not to say this team is without talent - i have a lot of time for panyangara and hondo. taibu is up amoung the best in any zim team. nkala still looks good and maregweda may have potential, we´ll see. i desperately want this team to do well , cause there seems little chance of a real integrated team that we all wish for becoming a reality, and i´m still a zimbo who supports the people of zim wishing the best for them. you can bet your life i disagree strongly with any suggestions of zim relegation .

a further fear is that it will not compete with football with the population at large. to play football in the street you (and it is done in most streets as even footballs are not that easy to come by for a township lad) simply collect a bunch of plastic bags fill one of them with the others and turn it in on itself. cricket is an entirely different set of economic prospects.

as i´ve suggested, we may actually have cut our already small talent-pool. we´re talking almost exclusively private school-kids - but a change in economic fortunes may bring about the hoped for spread of cricketing facilities to all school-kids.

i´ll let you finish my post as it pretty much sums up how i feel. (you often do sum up how i feel - there are differences in opinion but on the whole...)

"One wish remains, only we could enforce participation by all good cricketers regardless of race, now that would have been ideal."
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  #18  
Old April 25, 2004, 05:49 PM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Default Time for ICC to act

As time drifts by it is becoming increasingly obvious that neither the ZCU nor the ICC understand these disgruntled players. They have not come this far to back down now, certainly not for the token concessions the ZCU has offered them.

What the ZCU doesn't seem to get is that the 15 rebels are unyielding. The date 7 May - the deadline set by the ZCU for the players to return to work or be sacked - means nothing to them unless things change in the meantime. They want Streak reinstated, they want impartiality in the selection panel and they appear prepared to sacrifice their international careers to get it.

The player drain from Zimbabwe over the past few years has been damaging enough, as the absences of the likes of Andy Flower, Alistair Campbell, Henry Olonga, Neil Johnson and Murray Goodwin have testified.

More on BBC >>
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Old April 25, 2004, 06:15 PM
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Navarene Navarene is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by betterdaz
to be honst - i´m quite keen on tiers.
I posted a few months before something about if ICC could introduce a two-tier system amongst it's full and associate members. Just thought I would give the link so that you guys might be interested to read it again: A thought
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  #20  
Old April 26, 2004, 04:02 AM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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i read it and will respond fully in time - i like your thoughts. i may prefer 7 in each myself but maybe 5 will mean there are still strong sides in the 2nd tier forcing the weaker sides to improve., but the inclusion of kenya and another couple of teams would help.

and i still think a WC of some sort must be regular - our teams need to play the likes of SA and Oz to really progress and a WC (maybe a test WC too would be ideal..
must go bbut i may add to this post for your info navarene
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  #21  
Old April 26, 2004, 10:40 AM
reinausagi reinausagi is offline
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Didn't Zim post a 38 all out in 15 overs and change against Sri Lanka in 01-02? I believe that team was captained by Carlise and included Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Wishart, Friend, Streak Marillier et al.

The drop off in ZIM's cricketing stregnth is inevitable as it would be in anyone's case. If the 'rebels' cannot be re-instated in the team, what can be done to protect the integrity of test cricketing records.

We cannot have record after record falling just because political considerations keep a test team feilding it's best 11. Even BD in it's dark days (Pre-Dav) didn't fold for under 70 in ODIs. Hopefully, ZIM can fight back in their remaining games. If defeat is inevitable, at least go down fighting.
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  #22  
Old April 26, 2004, 11:35 AM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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the 3rd odi produced a new world record for lowest total.
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  #23  
Old April 26, 2004, 11:43 AM
FaltuRidwanBhai FaltuRidwanBhai is offline
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jaihok,
asholai kintu akti kharap shomoy otibahito korche zimbabwe cricket team. puro akti notun team niye tara kintu mokabela korche shoktishali srilankar. asha korbo zimbabwe ar ai crisis khub shighri mite jabe. karon antorjatik cricket ar jonno kintu eta motai akti bhalo dik noi. asha kori board ar shathe playerder shob shomoshha mite jabe. ebong asha korbo zimbabwe playerderke porobortite kono rajnoitik bishoyer shathe jorito hote hobe na. jemonti hote hoyechilo henry olonga. tar kotha kinu amra shobai jani. tini kintu akjon bhalo boler chilen zimbabwe doler jonno. rajnoitik karone kintu take desh tag korte hoi ebong shai shathe take crickhet thekeo biroti nite hoi. akhon kintu tini obosthan korchen australiate. dannabad.
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  #24  
Old April 26, 2004, 12:21 PM
betterdaz betterdaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by FaltuRidwanBhai
jaihok,
asholai kintu akti kharap shomoy otibahito korche zimbabwe cricket team. puro akti notun team niye tara kintu mokabela korche shoktishali srilankar. asha korbo zimbabwe ar ai crisis khub shighri mite jabe. karon antorjatik cricket ar jonno kintu eta motai akti bhalo dik noi. asha kori board ar shathe playerder shob shomoshha mite jabe. ebong asha korbo zimbabwe playerderke porobortite kono rajnoitik bishoyer shathe jorito hote hobe na. jemonti hote hoyechilo henry olonga. tar kotha kinu amra shobai jani. tini kintu akjon bhalo boler chilen zimbabwe doler jonno. rajnoitik karone kintu take desh tag korte hoi ebong shai shathe take crickhet thekeo biroti nite hoi. akhon kintu tini obosthan korchen australiate. dannabad.
can´t disagree with you there. though i must say i never thought about it that way
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  #25  
Old April 26, 2004, 12:43 PM
FaltuRidwanBhai FaltuRidwanBhai is offline
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jaihok,
betterdaz bhai prothomai kintu apnake janachhi onek onek dannabad amar boktobbo ke support korar jonno. kintu apni kintu bolchilen je apni beparta oibhabe chinta korenni je bhabe ami chinta koreche. tai jante chachhilam apni kibhabe chinta korechen. karon shob shomoy kintu amar kache shob information thake na. hoito apnar kache kichu ache jar karone apni beparta onnobhabe dekhchen. asha korbi bolben zimbabwe ar ai crisis shommondhe apnar karon ki. dannabad.
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