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April 11, 2011
Hampshire allrounder Sean Ervine insists he made the right decision in opting to continue his county career rather than attempt an international comeback with Zimbabwe. Ervine had been named in both the preliminary and finalised squads for Zimbabwe's World Cup campaign but pulled out weeks before the event and committed to Hampshire.
Ervine, who was initially confident that a return to Zimbabwe was the right choice, suggested that the change of heart came after his consideration of the financial problems that remain in Zimbabwean cricket and the added security provided by a county contract.
"Zimbabwe told me they wanted me to go back out there and play," Ervine told Portsmouth News. "We went through a few negotiations and talks but I wanted to speak to Rod (Bransgrove) and Chalky (Giles White) personally before anything went ahead. But Zimbabwe went ahead and just announced I would be in the World Cup squad. When I got to the Caribbean, I was probably 100 percent confident I would go with Zimbabwe. But then there were a few issues and I knew it would be a wrong decision if I made it.
"It was either me going to play for Zimbabwe, which is a risk, or carry on playing for Hampshire, which is a security thing. It was hard but it was pretty clear in the end. Watching the guys play in the World Cup, I was a bit disappointed I wasn't there but I knew that afterwards some of the problems would start."
While Zimbabwe Cricket has made positive strides in recent years, most notably with the return of Alistair Campbell, Heath Streak and Grant Flower to coaching and administrative positions, the contracting of Alan Butcher as national coach, and the return of several players to a revamped domestic system, Ervine suggested that certain problems continued and that he may have had "a lucky escape" in his decision to forego an international comeback.
"All of the players are being cut 60 percent of their salary because Zimbabwe Cricket have got no money - that's a big thing. My brother Craig was on £1,500 a month before that, not including match fees, but it goes to show you what it's like. It was always the case that time would tell with Zimbabwe and it is showing already. There weren't even any fixtures organised.
"There were supposed to be games against Bangladesh in April or May and then Pakistan and New Zealand in August - now they have been canned and put back to later in the year. Everyone talks about it being back on track and in a lot of ways it has improved but it's more about the ICC putting in their money and which direction this money is going.
"Maybe I've had a lucky escape. Every cricketer is trying to achieve the goal of playing international cricket but they need to sort out a lot of things on the administration side."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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