Zimbabwe news July 24, 1998

Arnott to step down as ZCU chief executive

Veteran Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) administrator Don Arnott will tomorrow attend the union's annual general meeting for the last time in his capacity as chief executive.

Arnott who became the first ever ZCU CEO four years ago will be stepping down from the position at the end of this month. He will be replaced by former ZCU president Dave Ellman-Brown.

Arnott is credited with setting up the first permanent secretariate of the union and ushering in a new era of professionalism in the running of the game. The ZCU now has a staff complement of six, including a general manager.

He told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that his four years at ZCU had been a great challenge as he had to transform the functions of the union in line with Zimbabwe's status as a Test cricket playing nation. The ZCU had in the past relied on the work done by honorary members. "It is now four years down the line and we have now reached the hybrid stage where we have a full-time secretariate," said Arnott. "We are still far behind other Test playing nations like Australia who have 20 to 30 workers doing marketing and public relations."

He added: "The work of the CEO has not been easy. At one time he is negotiating a major TV deal and the next time he is loading bags on a bus."

He said the advent of ball by ball coverage of all Test matches live on television was a major success in promoting the development of the game at junior level. "Television has been a great success as many children have had a chance to watch the game," he said.

He added despite the success scored to date, there was still need to raise the level of the sponsorship. He said the support rendered by local companies had to be complemented by support from abroad. "It has been a little difficult and there is need to go further afield to look for finance," he said.

Meanwhile Peter Chingoka should be re-elected unopposed as president of the union for the seventh term at the AGM tomorrow. Apart from the re-election of Chingoka, the other issue of note would be the ZCU financial statement. Last year, the union posted good results, which hinged on the profits made after the tour of England here. Tour surpluses for last year amounted to $13 260 290. The surplus brought forward to this financial year was $4,7 million.

However the rise in the union's expenditure and diminished tour surpluses this season are likely to eat into last year's savings.

Old Mutual Society has opened a Unit Trust account for the Zimbabwe Cricket Union development programme, and the company has donated $30,000 as seed money for the account. The money will go towards the setting up of a cricket academy. National coach Dave Houghton has already raised over a million dollars from a sponsored walk he undertook from Bulawayo to Harare last month.

"When considering the best way in which we should assist Dave Houghton in making his dream a reality, we feel that this option was the most beneficial," said Old Mutual Unit Trust managing director Kevin Terry in a statement. "Not only is the money safe and secure but it is also creating additional funds in the form of a lucrative interest.