After first being hit by a delay which caused fixtures to start a week later than planned, Zimbabwe's first-class competition, the Logan Cup, has been interrupted by a player protest. The third day of the match between the Mid West Rhinos and the Matabeleland Tuskers was delayed after players refused to take the field over the issue of non-payment of salaries. Later in the day, play did get underway briefly as the players decided to play so that they fulfill their contractual obligations and can insist on payment. Eventually it was declared that Matabeleland Tuskers had forfeited their second innings, and Rhinos subsequently took the game.*
ESPNcricinfo has learnt that the domestic players, not nationally contracted ones, led the strike because they have been left without pay. Nationally contracted players have received salaries, but the domestic players were only remunerated for one month instead of a promised two.
An email, seen by ESPNcricinfo, was sent by Zimbabwe Cricket's company secretary to the provinces last month, informing them that salaries for November would be paid in December because provincial contracts were not finalised by the end of November. Domestic players have since received one salary payment - December's - but their November amounts remain outstanding.
In an effort to calm the situation as quickly as possible, ZC has promised players that their outstanding fees will be paid by December 21 but a source said the players are not convinced they will see their salaries. "There is no trust," the insider said.
The other match in the first round, between Mountaineers and Mashonaland Eagles, was abandoned without a ball bowled, after persistent rain rendered the field unplayable.
*13.50GMT, December 20: The article was updated after news of the match result came in.