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Tsvangirai appeals for a sporting chance


CANBERRA — Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called on Australia to end his country’s pariah status, suspend sanctions and send the national team for a cricket tour — the first in more than eight years.

Tsvangirai told The Age in Canberra yesterday that the situation in Zimbabwe was “much better” than the commonly held view of a nation in crisis.

In talks with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, he asked for help to run elections that he hopes will be held within a year, possibly inside nine months.

Australia’s cricket squad last toured Zimbabwe in 2004 but Tsvangirai said the team would be welcome. Australia is one of the largest aid donors to Zimbabwe, despite financial and travel restrictions on President Robert Mugabe, members of his family and cronie.

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