Evil House Monkey pointed me at an article on CricInfo, where Andrew McLean asks the above question: what about the players? They have sporting careers to think about, and for some this may be their only chance ever to play an international match. To which I think the only response can be that there are some things more important than cricket, and any player (such as, say, Jacob Oram) who thinks otherwise is exhibiting colossal moral blindness.
Of greater concern is the fact that the players depend on cricket for their livelihood and would suffer a large financial loss (up to $40,000) if the tour did not go ahead. I'm sympathetic to this, and my natural instinct is to compensate them if the government forces the tour to be cancelled. But there's no legal obligation to do so, and if the players manage to lose that sympathy (by, say, making more dumb comments like Oram's putting cricket ahead of torture and human rights abuses), well, fuck them. I'm willing to compensate helpless victims caught in the middle, but I'm not willing to pay off people who are simply arseholes.
More generally, McLean trots out the tired old argument that "sport is separate from politics". But this is simply another example of moral blindness. Sport does not happen in a vaccuum, and who people play sport with has political and moral consequences. Sports teams such as the Black Caps are seen as official representatives and their presence as conveying official approval. By touring Zimbabwe, the Black Caps will not just be conveying their own personal approval of the Mugabe regime as fit people to visit and talk with - but also, by implication, that of every other New Zealander. And I don't see why we should tolerate an unelected body doing that at all.