Monday, February 06, 2006

Phil Edmonds and the heart of darkness...

I used to love watching Phil Edmonds play cricket - although to be fair I can only remember the latter stages of his career. Tall, with a beautiful pivot in his action, he was probably the last classical slow left-armer to play for England (both Giles and Tufnell are quicker through the air, and rely more on change of pace than flight and guile for their wickets). He was also, from an early stage, a bit of a wheeler dealer - just read Simon Hughes' boom A lot of Hard Yakka for a few examples.

He's also been in the news a bit recently, both with his White Nile shenanigans in Southern Sudan (the share listing is, I believe, still suspended) and now with a bit of a fuss being made about CAMEC's dealings with Billy Rautenbach - a fellow with a finger in a lot of Zimbabwean pies (a phrase which would make an excellent Google search string). The charge seems to be that Billy has a lot of previous in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and more friends than is seemly in the Zimbabwean Government, including Emerson Mnangagwa, a less pleasant chap than whom it would be hard to find, even in Zimbabwe.

Edmonds has long ties to that part of the world. He was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) making him one of two international sportsmen to be born there (anyone?) and has a string of links out there. Having played a spot of cricket in Zambia myself, I can only assume that standards have declined somewhat of late. Long exposure to business practices in Central Africa does tend to have a corrupting influence. Mnangagwa has been described as Rautenbach's 'fixer' in the Zimbabwean Government - and it's even more depressing that such a character is so necessary than it is that the Telegraph, which really ought to know better, described Edmonds as a 'former British and Middlesex spinner.' Anyway, England could really do with a spinner of Edmonds' ability and class in India next month, but the lot of the spinner in modern English cricket is not a happy one...

4 Comments:

Anonymous nagarseth said...

erm.....intresting read...........remember LON RHO tiny rowland connections and see how influnctial it became ......it is only matter of time when our own " fellow " zambian " Phil EDMONDS reaches such dizzy heights ....as an ex zambian an one very very keen cricketer any chance to bring cricket back into life in zambia ..........surly with the millions Edmonds make can it be chanelled to the development of this beloved game .....one more thing i attended the same school as him tooo .......wonder where you played your cricket ...............lusaka club or centrals.....lol
Nagarseth always looking for a cricket revival...............

5:00 pm  
Blogger Tim J said...

Lusaka South I'm afraid, right opposite the Baobab School.

It would be nice to see some re-investment in Zambian cricket, but I wouldn't hold your breath...

12:24 pm  
Anonymous JD Venter said...

Philippe Edmonds is actually one of three international sportsmen to have been born in Zambia (excluding the likes of hurdler Sam Matete of course).

They are the former Australian scrum-half and captain George Gregan and former South African flanker and captain Corné Krige. Both players met on the field as captains of their respective sides - captains of both Australia and South Africa who had been born in the same hospital in Lusaka.

2:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pierre Edmonds was his twin brother.Both played for Gilbert Rennie School in Lusaka and Lusaka Club.I remember Phil bowling me out at Prince Philip School Cricket ground during a school match.

5:45 pm  

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