Alex Massie

This will definitely hasten regime change in Havana

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And while we're on the subject of cricket, here's the latest madness from the United States:

Cuba have been blocked from playing in their first ever international cricket tournament because of a US embargo.

Cuba had been invited to take part in the Stanford 20/20 tournament, which features 20 Caribbean teams.

But the competition is backed by US businessman Allen Stanford, who by law must ask permission to engage in commercial activity with Cuba.

Texan billionaire Stanford said on Tuesday that his application had been denied by the US government.

"We have been anxious to include the entire Caribbean in the Stanford 20/20 Cricket Tournament and I am extremely disappointed that Cuba will not be able to play," he said in a statement.

No word on whether ghastly old Fidel is a cricket fan; no word either as to whether this is really about protecting American sports - ie, baseball - from the cool breeze of cricketing competition. A reprehensible expansion of the Monroe Doctrine, clearly...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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