Zimbabwe news August 9, 2011

Financial losses mar Zimbabwe's Test return

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Zimbabwe's return to Test cricket was a success on the field, but it will take at least "five to ten years" to have the same effect on the board's bank balance. Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) will incur over US$2 million in losses as they re-enter into the game's premier format this summer.

ZC are hosting three tours in the space of five months, playing one Test against each of Bangladesh, Pakistan and New Zealand and a bigger number ODIs and Twenty20 matches. "It costs us around $1.1 million to host a tour," Ozias Bvute, managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket told ESPNcricinfo. "We only earn about $200,000 from TV rights, although it will be slightly less against New Zealand, and about $150,000 from sponsorship." The deficit, of around $750,000 per tour, is made up through loans from local banks, who allow ZC to repay them over an extended period.

Given the rate at which cricket is growing in the country, Bvute believes it will take up to a decade for the debt to be cleared and for ZC to start making profits. "It's a really vicious cycle," an insider said. "We have to get more sponsorship, but the only way we can do that is by playing and winning and we can't play any more if we don't have the money to have more series."

Cricket boards only earn money when they are hosting and Zimbabwe have calculate that only the hosting of India or England will result in a profit, because of the sums of the amount they can make in broadcasting rights, but even that is not an easy option for them. "England have a policy that they don't tour Zimbabwe and India are not available to come very often, so that makes it hard," the insider said.

Instead, ZC has had to find ways to attract more sponsorship from local sources which they have done by presenting them with a bigger market to advertise to. "In order for cricket to be sustainable, we needed people to participate," Bvute said. "So now that we have both black and white supporters watching cricket and attending matches we can work on creating a commodity that is financially viable." There are signs of that already happening, with the domestic twenty-over competition almost breaking even, suffering only "minute losses of about US$80,000".

The introduction of the franchise system two seasons ago has been an essential part of ZC's attempt at financial revival because it has allowed for 100 cricketers in the country to earn salaries. The ZC supplies the five franchises with grants to contract 20 players each, although often for small amounts. Another source revealed that a franchise rookie contract is worth $200-300 a month and that the senior players earn around $5000 a month, but national players can expect to earn more than that once central contracts come into effect.

Wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu raised the issue of no national contracts and the ZC have said they will address the situation by awarding contracts for 12 core players at the start of the domestic season, when franchise contracts come up for renegotiation.

The other major concern is the non-payment of match fees, another matter brought up by Taibu in his criticism of the administration. "There is a provision in the player contracts that says we can pay match fees up until 180 days after a tour," Bvute said. Taibu indicated that match fees had not been paid in a period longer than the stipulated six months, with some players still waiting for their money from the series in Bangladesh that was played in December last year. The board is aware of the problem and Bvute said that they "hope to be able to pay all our players as soon as we can".

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY AlanHarrison on | August 12, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Depressing to read this from a world cricket point of view. It is not only Zimbabwe's problem. Think of how cricket in Kenya imploded so rapidly even after they had made a world cup semi-final (something England haven't done for twenty years ...). Rakesh_Sharma is correct: the major powers of cricket should support the emerging nations more.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    things will work out zimbabwe cricket is bright i know the guys can win games

  • POSTED BY Proteas123 on | August 11, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    @ Moorthy Rathinasamy - SA supports Zim with a lot more than just their cricket. A significant amount of the income in Zim is earned in SA. SA support has also possibly contributed to there problems not being resolved.

  • POSTED BY Ahsan_Shere on | August 11, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Aaaaaaaah!! When Alistair Cambell, Neil Johnson, Heath Streak & Flower Brothers were playing for Zimbabwe, cricket was so peaceful with no material (human & financial) crisis. Miss those days too much.............

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Boards like BCCI should come forward as savior of the cricket in a nation...

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | August 10, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    I imagine the ICC has helped - not that I know for sure but I remember reading about 5 years ago that cricinfo donated a few million to Zimbabawe - where did it go. I think regular auditing will/should come with any donations (but therein lies a problem - the usual talk of "sovereinty" will start). ZC has to continue on the path it's taken and that is a willingness to progress and aid will be more forthcoming - and hopefully, eventually, unnecessary).

  • POSTED BY Dragon_7654 on | August 10, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    1) As always a lot of people here going on about BCCI, its coffers etc. I'm not a big fan of the way BCCI handles many things myself, but when it comes to helping boards like Zimbabwe out, they seem to be alright - the Indian team seems to play a lot of seemingly useless matches against Zimbabwe, but since these help ZC survive surely BCCI has done its bit (Indian fans may not be happy about the pointless matches though despite the runs and wickets their players cash in on.) 2) ICC must provide the funds, and ZC should handle things well, but someone did mention the word audit... 3) Indian players are not that bad... read this about someone the Aussies love to hate - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/people/We-overreact/articleshow/5940531.cms (btw, it's good that he's been sent home from England on current form)

    Cheers

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    SA and KEN are the sister countries and they should step-in to step-up ZIM

  • POSTED BY Rakesh_Sharma on | August 10, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    BCCI(India)India representing almost 75% of cricketing public must help Zimbabwe. The Coffers of BCCI are overflowing.Just RaviShastri and Gavaskar are being paid millions for very biased commentary is nonsense. Atleast the rich Indian Cricketers must share a portion for betterment of world cricket. It is their moral duty. If more strong teams are in World cricket it will be good for Indian cricket and cricketers in the long run. How can Cricket survive otherwise? Do not use and pay Zimbabwe for votes only BCCI. Provide real money for real development of cricket.

  • POSTED BY vasu.aitharaju on | August 10, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    1 icon player's fee & sponsorships of the last ranked IPL team, is much higher than the annual deficit of ZC.

    Ridiculous fact is that BCC revenues from IPL are tax exempt, because the stupid IPL is supposedly promoting T20 cricket. T20 is not cricket. It's a flashy entertainment. It doesn't need any promotion. Bollywood producers should conduct the IPL, not BCC or ICC.

    ICC should tax the richer cricket boards and promote test cricket in Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY AlanHarrison on | August 12, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Depressing to read this from a world cricket point of view. It is not only Zimbabwe's problem. Think of how cricket in Kenya imploded so rapidly even after they had made a world cup semi-final (something England haven't done for twenty years ...). Rakesh_Sharma is correct: the major powers of cricket should support the emerging nations more.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    things will work out zimbabwe cricket is bright i know the guys can win games

  • POSTED BY Proteas123 on | August 11, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    @ Moorthy Rathinasamy - SA supports Zim with a lot more than just their cricket. A significant amount of the income in Zim is earned in SA. SA support has also possibly contributed to there problems not being resolved.

  • POSTED BY Ahsan_Shere on | August 11, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Aaaaaaaah!! When Alistair Cambell, Neil Johnson, Heath Streak & Flower Brothers were playing for Zimbabwe, cricket was so peaceful with no material (human & financial) crisis. Miss those days too much.............

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Boards like BCCI should come forward as savior of the cricket in a nation...

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | August 10, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    I imagine the ICC has helped - not that I know for sure but I remember reading about 5 years ago that cricinfo donated a few million to Zimbabawe - where did it go. I think regular auditing will/should come with any donations (but therein lies a problem - the usual talk of "sovereinty" will start). ZC has to continue on the path it's taken and that is a willingness to progress and aid will be more forthcoming - and hopefully, eventually, unnecessary).

  • POSTED BY Dragon_7654 on | August 10, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    1) As always a lot of people here going on about BCCI, its coffers etc. I'm not a big fan of the way BCCI handles many things myself, but when it comes to helping boards like Zimbabwe out, they seem to be alright - the Indian team seems to play a lot of seemingly useless matches against Zimbabwe, but since these help ZC survive surely BCCI has done its bit (Indian fans may not be happy about the pointless matches though despite the runs and wickets their players cash in on.) 2) ICC must provide the funds, and ZC should handle things well, but someone did mention the word audit... 3) Indian players are not that bad... read this about someone the Aussies love to hate - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/people/We-overreact/articleshow/5940531.cms (btw, it's good that he's been sent home from England on current form)

    Cheers

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    SA and KEN are the sister countries and they should step-in to step-up ZIM

  • POSTED BY Rakesh_Sharma on | August 10, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    BCCI(India)India representing almost 75% of cricketing public must help Zimbabwe. The Coffers of BCCI are overflowing.Just RaviShastri and Gavaskar are being paid millions for very biased commentary is nonsense. Atleast the rich Indian Cricketers must share a portion for betterment of world cricket. It is their moral duty. If more strong teams are in World cricket it will be good for Indian cricket and cricketers in the long run. How can Cricket survive otherwise? Do not use and pay Zimbabwe for votes only BCCI. Provide real money for real development of cricket.

  • POSTED BY vasu.aitharaju on | August 10, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    1 icon player's fee & sponsorships of the last ranked IPL team, is much higher than the annual deficit of ZC.

    Ridiculous fact is that BCC revenues from IPL are tax exempt, because the stupid IPL is supposedly promoting T20 cricket. T20 is not cricket. It's a flashy entertainment. It doesn't need any promotion. Bollywood producers should conduct the IPL, not BCC or ICC.

    ICC should tax the richer cricket boards and promote test cricket in Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    BCCI is absolutely ROLLING in money right now. they can't throw some money ZC way, if even to just cover ZIM expenses? then we couldve had maybe a 3 test series between them and bangladesh, that wouldve been very exciting!

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    I feel sory for Zimbabwe Cricket. When Andy brothers were there, I always believed that Zimbabwe would become one of the strongest Cricketing nations in future. I think ICC should step forward and help Zimbabwe cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    ZC has to carry out AGGRESSIVE marketing of cricket at all levels for it to receive the financial support it needs. Granted, results are needed from the field of play but I just think that not enough marketing has been done to encourage the public to support cricket and the team.

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    They Have Talent but not money and other few nation who have money but not have a right sprit sportsman like india . So some other board come forward and help zim to sort out this problem ...............

  • POSTED BY KingofRedLions on | August 10, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    How have these losses marred Zimbabwe's return, other than the headline saying so?

  • POSTED BY r.nangia on | August 10, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    i think ICC to come forward to help ZC, if ICC wants cricket to be survived in the country

  • POSTED BY sachin_mumbai on | August 10, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    BCCI, if at all they care about cricket, should lend a helping hand to ZC...by doing that they may atleast try to show there intrest in Cricket....

  • POSTED BY YoureRightDT on | August 10, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    So what has happened to all the MILLIONS of dollars that ZC should have received from the ICC? Perhaps they should be audited. Oh, wait a minute...

  • POSTED BY RussDegnan on | August 10, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Zimbabwe's situation is not so different from other boards. That is why South Africa, Sri Lanka, NZ, Bangladesh, and WI don't play longer series against each other. They are all dependent for 30-50% of their income from ICC tournament distributions (the ICC distributes more than 90% of its World Cup income to its full members), and for another 30% from tours from India, England and Australia. A proposal was put forward several years ago to create a broader test championship with some revenue sharing. The BCCI and ECB wanted to keep their home revenues for themselves and constructed the FTP around their own high-profit tours. When test cricket dies for lack of income and interest outside the select few, that will be the reason.

  • POSTED BY venky2010 on | August 10, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    BCCI makes lot of money by selling Indian cricket. I think they should help countries like ZIM, atleast share a portion of money you make out of cricket to develop and spread cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    ICC should help ZIM with their wealth atleast...they done really well.........! They deserve to be back in all formats of cric...:)

  • POSTED BY simba_chi on | August 10, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    As much as we are inclined to feel sympathetic to the ZC board some of their decisions leave one with more questions than answers. Questions like why did the board have to pay a flamboyant Brian Lara a whooping usd30 000 for playing only 3 domestic t20 matches? Couldnt that money (and the extra he got for his "consultancy" services at the world cup) have been channelled towards more grassroots cricket or the hard working players & coaches? We certainly dont need mercenaries like Brian Lara to help us with our cricket if that help comes with a huge dent to our already meagre resources! Grant Flower and Heath Streak have been working consistently hard with the players and you can see that these are men who are dedicated to the growth of the game in Zim more than anything. The board needs to put its money where its mouth is - not wasting resources on mercenaries like BL!

  • POSTED BY Anwaruzz on | August 10, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    ICC can come in here. Collect 2-3% from the bigger test playing countires and fund the minnows for test series or ODI series, where revenues collection are not good enough to sustain a cricketing board. This fund may also be used to purchase two sets of full set of UDRS equipment, incldg hot spot, for renting to all test venues/series at a more affordable level.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | August 10, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    @Saibharath Sivakumar, I really like some of your suggestions there. The ICC has the obligation to the game to schedule more matches for Zimbabwe, and feed additional money into their systems (and monitor it to ensure it gets where it needs to go). As the president said they can only keep winning. I also think India and England, as such big financial institutions, also have some obligation towards the game and should put their hands up to go and tour there, even if its one or two tests. @ Pommies, its time you lifted your ban. You owe Southern Africa for half of your players!!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    gambhir was bought for $2.4 million...lolz zimbawawe can host 2 tours in that amount

  • POSTED BY on | August 10, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    Creative fund raising and ideas are needed. Dragon and Bvute are as good as ceremonial leaders. These two individuals are limited, they have run out of ideas.

  • POSTED BY hasib9 on | August 10, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    I feel bad for Zimbabwe. We need to watch Zimbabwe matches to support them. If more fans watch, they will earn much more from TV rights.

  • POSTED BY Exfactor44 on | August 9, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    I'd be curious to see where all that money is spent but at the same time it seems the ICC only scheduling a dozen tests for Zim and Bangladesh in the next 20 years might be a bt of a blessing if this is their financial situation

  • POSTED BY on | August 9, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    It is indeed sad to see a country with so much cricketing talent - past and present - struggling to host a series and pay its cricketers. The ICC is not just a body whose responsibility is to look into the affairs of India, England and the top cricket playing countries. Helping countries like Zimbabwe where there are players with talent and ability should be a priority for the ICC. Would be good to have the Zim local teams play in the Champions League and also for the ICC to provide loans to ZC - so that cricketers continue to play for the country. In the current scenario, it looks like most players will end up choosing alternate proffessions if the cricket board is unable to pay them.That would indeed be a sad result for a country which has the passion or the game displayed by Zimbabwe's test cricketers. Come on BCCI and ICC - please help Zim cricket.

  • POSTED BY Evilpengwinz on | August 9, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    As England won't tour Zimbabwe, how about having a triangular tournament in South Africa?

  • POSTED BY zeshu34 on | August 9, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    ICC and other cricket boards are loaded with money specially BCCI ! Why can't they lend money to ZC ! It doesn't make any difference to ICC and other cricket boards if they lend few millions to ZC !

  • POSTED BY on | August 9, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    Congratulations to Zimbabwe on a successful test return and i am hoping you guys can get over these financial problems soon and keep playing good cricket, that match was a delight to watch! All the best for the future!

    JK

  • POSTED BY PontiusPilate78 on | August 9, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    These are honest people trying to make sure that the cake is evenly distributed to all. not just those in the test and odi sides, but also those playing in the fanchises and lower rungs of clubs and even school development teams etc.....it is a bad omen , that taibu demands to be paid like tendulkar and trott while not beign them nor the ZC being in the same financial league as the indian or the english. yeas it is true professionals need to be paid professional salaries , but please mr taibu,do not be as the politicians in your country who think the country owes them everything....because they died for the country. ZIM cricket , needs you my good man but they can do without you, as can we the supporters of zimbabwe cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | August 9, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    BCCI can give them some money if the rule permits. May be allow some zimbabwe players to play in ipl. The 10-20% of salaries going to its board. May be one of the zimababwe franchise can be invited to play in champions league. India can send INDIA A team with all broadcasting tv rights which ll help zimbabwe cricket administration.

  • POSTED BY Stos on | August 9, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    I believe that the BCCI may have a bit of spare change lying around which could help with this.

  • POSTED BY on | August 9, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    So sad to hear this. I cant understand why ICC will not help here? Are there any regulations preventing this?

  • POSTED BY K.A.K on | August 9, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Does ICC has some way of helping in the promotion of cricket and help ease the financial strugles of the board? Can Tendulkar and Share Warne and a few more visit Zimbabwe to help raise some funds? 'Hope to be able to pay all our players as soon as we can"??

  • POSTED BY sebastianvinod on | August 9, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    ICC needs to step in or rather increase their effort in lifting the spirit of ZC....India and other cash rich boards should be assisting them with loans or if not atleast arrange few series to allow the game to survive in zimbabwe

  • POSTED BY mensan on | August 9, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    ICC should help Zimbabwe financially.

  • POSTED BY tanstell87 on | August 9, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    As an Indian i wish cricket flourishes in Zimbabwe...BCCI,ECB & CA should help Zimbabwe cricket... Cricket in Zimbabwe will definitely survive as they they have their own legends in the game - Flower brothers,Alistair Campbell,Dav Houghton,H Streak,H Olonga,Paul Strang,Guy Witthal,Niel Johnson & Murray...

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  • POSTED BY tanstell87 on | August 9, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    As an Indian i wish cricket flourishes in Zimbabwe...BCCI,ECB & CA should help Zimbabwe cricket... Cricket in Zimbabwe will definitely survive as they they have their own legends in the game - Flower brothers,Alistair Campbell,Dav Houghton,H Streak,H Olonga,Paul Strang,Guy Witthal,Niel Johnson & Murray...

  • POSTED BY mensan on | August 9, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    ICC should help Zimbabwe financially.

  • POSTED BY sebastianvinod on | August 9, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    ICC needs to step in or rather increase their effort in lifting the spirit of ZC....India and other cash rich boards should be assisting them with loans or if not atleast arrange few series to allow the game to survive in zimbabwe

  • POSTED BY K.A.K on | August 9, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Does ICC has some way of helping in the promotion of cricket and help ease the financial strugles of the board? Can Tendulkar and Share Warne and a few more visit Zimbabwe to help raise some funds? 'Hope to be able to pay all our players as soon as we can"??

  • POSTED BY on | August 9, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    So sad to hear this. I cant understand why ICC will not help here? Are there any regulations preventing this?

  • POSTED BY Stos on | August 9, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    I believe that the BCCI may have a bit of spare change lying around which could help with this.

  • POSTED BY on | August 9, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    BCCI can give them some money if the rule permits. May be allow some zimbabwe players to play in ipl. The 10-20% of salaries going to its board. May be one of the zimababwe franchise can be invited to play in champions league. India can send INDIA A team with all broadcasting tv rights which ll help zimbabwe cricket administration.

  • POSTED BY PontiusPilate78 on | August 9, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    These are honest people trying to make sure that the cake is evenly distributed to all. not just those in the test and odi sides, but also those playing in the fanchises and lower rungs of clubs and even school development teams etc.....it is a bad omen , that taibu demands to be paid like tendulkar and trott while not beign them nor the ZC being in the same financial league as the indian or the english. yeas it is true professionals need to be paid professional salaries , but please mr taibu,do not be as the politicians in your country who think the country owes them everything....because they died for the country. ZIM cricket , needs you my good man but they can do without you, as can we the supporters of zimbabwe cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | August 9, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    Congratulations to Zimbabwe on a successful test return and i am hoping you guys can get over these financial problems soon and keep playing good cricket, that match was a delight to watch! All the best for the future!

    JK

  • POSTED BY zeshu34 on | August 9, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    ICC and other cricket boards are loaded with money specially BCCI ! Why can't they lend money to ZC ! It doesn't make any difference to ICC and other cricket boards if they lend few millions to ZC !