Pakistan in Zimbabwe 2013

Tests in danger over Zimbabwe's payment dispute

Firdose Moonda

August 30, 2013

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

The Zimbabwe players celebrate Umar Amin's run-out, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Harare, August 29, 2013
If the Zimbabwe players do not get their dues by Monday, the Test series against Pakistan could be in doubt © Associated Press

The Zimbabwe players have extended to Monday* a deadline for Zimbabwe Cricket to clear their dues, which could yet put a cloud over the two-Test series that begins on Tuesday. The hosts aborted training on Friday morning ahead of the deciding ODI against Pakistan in protest, but took the field on Saturday and lost by 108 runs.

Zimbabwe, through their newly-formed players' union, had considered a boycott of the final ODI if the salaries had not been paid by end of day Friday, but as learnt by ESPNcricinfo, "most of the players" were willing to take the field and the game proceeded as per schedule.

However, an uneasy peace hovers over the situation. A player, who asked not to be named, said they have decided that unless ZC pays them what they are owed by Monday, "there will not be a Test series".

ZC was due to address the players on Friday morning at the Harare Sports Club, when they decided to stop training on realising none of them had been paid in full what was owed to them. The meeting was delayed twice, though, before ZC summoned players to its offices at 4.45pm. At least one player confirmed he did not attend the meeting because he did not think he would get anything out of it.

Zimbabwe's players were given a guarantee they would be paid on Thursday, August 28, and the money would reflect in their accounts on Friday.

A source close to the team confirmed some of them stayed at the ground on Friday on for a voluntary net but the players as a whole have banded together. "They want to get their point across and they want to make sure they get paid," the insider said. "It's about making things happen now and making sure they get some money."

The latest development comes just a day after some players told ESPNcricinfo that the union and its members were satisfied with the arrangement they had reached with Zimbabwe Cricket at the beginning of the Pakistan series. Zimbabwe's cricketers refused to train the week before the series began because they had not been paid their July salaries. Instead, they formed a breakthrough players' union - the first of its kind for at least a decade - and demanded match fees, salaries and a percentage of ICC-event reimbursements.

An eventual settlement with ZC was reached a week before the first T20. The Zimbabwe Independent reported the players had asked for US$5,000 per Test, US$3,000 per ODI and US$1,500 per T20 but those figures were too steep for ZC. It has since been ascertained that lesser amounts were agreed on.

A player, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Thursday he was "confident" of ZC keeping to their word and making the payments. "We are satisfied with the arrangement we've reached and we believe we will be paid," he said. Less than 24 hours later, Zimbabwean players felt differently when they were greeted by empty bank accounts.

While cash-flow issues have long dogged Zimbabwean cricket - they also threatened to strike in April this year ahead of the series against Bangladesh because of unsatisfactory daily allowances - lack of playing time has also been a concern for them and if they do not take the field on Saturday they will be forgoing a rare chance to claim silverware with the series locked at 1-1.

Also, Zimbabwe's international programme for this year was due to conclude with a visit from Sri Lanka in October but the SLC has confirmed ZC asked for a postponement because of "unforseen circumstances". Zimbabwe's domestic season was due to progress as usual but the franchises have not been made aware of the exact amount of funding they will receive. As such, many of them have been unable to confirm contracts for coaches and players.

*16.10GMT, August 30: This story has been updated.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2013, 23:40 GMT)

Although Zimbabwians may not have a chance of winning the test series, it will help them playing against a strong bowling and an benefit in their coming series.

Posted by chechong0114 on (August 31, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

This sport of cricket is in such crisis in soooooooo many ways its just a damn shame and disgrace, the biggest problem MONEY!!!!!!! The undeniable fact is that many of the cricketing boards around the world are just not making any profit, apart from maybe India, Australia and probably England every other cricket board is struggling financially, what a sad situation for such a great sport. If these boards do not begin to take drastic , aggressive and formidable measures soon to remedy the issues that are plaguing the sport I don't know what future the game will really have, the ICC needs to step in as the parent body of cricket and put things in place to first secure the issues of the nine test playing nations and then deal with upcoming nations to help see the sport continue to expand and grow but I do not see that happening anytime soon. The West Indies cricket team will be touring New Zealand in December of this year and one thing you are guarantee sure of is a lot of empty seats.

Posted by dirtydozen on (August 31, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

After reading about the conditions of payment to zimbabwe players, i feel sad for the players, but the players should always put country before money or it will become like pak,bang or indian players. If the present players boycott the upcoming series they can replace them with 2nd/3rd grade squad like west indies against bang, but it will take long time for the team to make a great comeback like the present one

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (August 31, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

What ? Players demand US$5,000 for Test. Even sub continent(where cricket is major sport) players don't get paid that much. At least not all players. There are various grades based on performance/experience and players are paid accordingly. Last time i remember India used to pay Rs 2 lakh (aprox US 3K dollars).

Agree with the author. These figures are definitely too steepy for ZC given the situation and the parity with non sports persons in that country.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (August 31, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Posts such as the collection here are very revealing. There are those from Pakistanis (or Pak. supporters) whose sole concern is the playing of cricket against Zim. They clearly are not concerned about the plight of the Zim players & fail to see the backdrop against which the Pakistani tour is continuing. Tashfeen Masood Qayyum on (August 30, 2013, 22:15 GMT) & Cric_fever_forever on (August 30, 2013, 22:07 GMT) are two such. To them, I say now read @ LillianThomson on (August 31, 2013, 1:29 GMT). The Zim cricketers are playing (effectively without pay) because of the truth of the points raised by Lillian Thompson. Now, please, revise your appreciation of the whole sorry mess. to have functioning internat. cricket played in a country you need respected systems in place, inc. the paying players! Zim cricket, like so much else in that forsaken country, is evidently run poorly, the ICC report says as much. And, irony of ironies, President Mugabe is an avowed cricket fan! Pls publish.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

" players had asked for US$5,000 per Test, US$3,000 per ODI and US$1,500 per T20 " ... Man , that is too much for Zimbabwean players I suppose . I do agree that players should get paid because they have their family to look forward to aswell , but that amount is seriously too high for such a team which does not win on regular basis .

Posted by   on (August 31, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

Looks like their first win was motivated by the fact that they did not want to play matches. If Zim would have won the second ODI that was nicely denied by Pak then they would have sat out of this final ODI. Now they risk anger from public as well as board over not pressing for series win and have to play this one as well despite the urge to protest. Difficult situation for Zim players.

Posted by fanaticric on (August 31, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

is the icc even a governing body... y is there no power with them... is the icc blind and deaf that they are not able to even help zc at this stage.. cricket will not grow into a global game unless it helps its existing members.. its gonna stick to group of 10 countries half of whih are already financially retarted economies.. a classic game.. and such a shabby state of affairs.. sad...

Posted by WalkingWicket11 on (August 31, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

LOL, and then some people say DRS should be made compulsory when boards can't even afford lunch for their players.

Posted by SyedAreYouDumb on (August 31, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

"US$5,000 per Test, US$3,000 per ODI and US $1,500 per T20" is this a case of players getting greedy? I maybe oblivious to the real extent of how badly hit money-wise the Zimbabwe players are but getting paid those amounts (playing roughly 15-20 games a year) should certainly be able to feed your family more than enough!! hmmm....

Posted by   on (August 31, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

After hearing this news, I feel very proud of our SL cricketers. They played more than a year without their contracts, salaries or benefits. Hats off to SL team

Posted by LillianThomson on (August 31, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

The April 2009 ICC Task Team report to Zimbabwe report is freely available on the internet and was withering about poor administration, governance and misappropriation of funds by Zimbabwe Cricket. But it was buried by the ICC largely because certain countries are happy with Zimbabwe supporting them in ICC votes.

There is no ambiguity today: Zimbabwe's players have been robbed and continue to be robbed. Yet Zimbabwe Cricket continues to get huge amounts of ICC money, which never finds its way to the players.

Never forget, the suspicious Cardiff Test in 2011 occurred in the context of the side which collapsed to lose on the final day (after the first four days saw only 15 wickets) having not been paid by its own board.

If we are serious about wiping out corruption in clinic we need proper governance and players to be paid by their employers

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (August 30, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

They want to draw the series by not playing the 3rd ODI

Posted by Cric_fever_forever on (August 30, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

oh man test series looks in danger :( . was looking forward to the test matches would be good preperation for s.a home series next month in uae. sad!! wish things for zim gets settled down before test matches

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

The players are quite right- it's their livelihood. Anyone fancy working for nothing?

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

Come on ZC pay your players they hard earn money. The Zimbabwe team beat the exciting Pakistan Team in the first ODI. Plus I want to see the deciding ODI match on TV.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

That is crazy maybe time for ICC to step in and act like a body with some power

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

IF ZCB boards starts finding god sponsers and pay god money players like Ballance, Jarvis, Ervine brother, one of the williams sibing all will play for Zimbabwe team and team will become more competetive.

Posted by Anwar-Lara on (August 30, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

They are well within their rights, i hope they get paid.

Posted by PACERONE on (August 30, 2013, 17:46 GMT)

Where is the ICC when things like this are happening?I am sure that the officials,the office clerks and janitors all get paid.The cricketers are the only ones not getting paid.ICC should see that the monies to play the players are there before the series starts.Maybe in a special ICC account.This should be for all nations that have problems.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

I'm sure that the Zimbabwe players won't be able to give full concentration in their game against Pakistan.

Posted by on (August 30, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

It is sad to see the state of Zimbawe Cricket, today. This was a side which beat top notch sides in the late 90's. Ever since then, the cricket has gone through a lot of turmoil. But then again, seeing that the country itself is in a very bad shape, not much can be expected economically for Zimbabwe Cricket. I only wish the richer Cricket boards and the ICC try and do something about it. It is sad to see that no initiative comes through from any front. So many cricketers are leaving Zimbabwe to add to it. If this is the fate of a test team, I can imagine what is the fate of the associate nations, especially the not so well to do ones. Pity!

Posted by Blade-Runner on (August 30, 2013, 16:49 GMT)

This is very unprofessional from Zim cricketer's side. They should have resolved all their problems before the tour or waited until the ongoing series is finished. By pulling a stunt like this in the middle of a series, they have disrespected the visiting team who have flown 1000's of miles to get there.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

When this situation arose in SL cricket guys like Sanga, Dilshan, Mahela and Malinga played for free and requested the youngsters be paid. Unfortunately Zim cricketers are not in such a position as those 4 players had lucrative deals in IPL and other tourneys. 3 years down the line we see that nothing has changed from the SL cricket board that even scapegoated Sanga, who played for the country for free for awhile. I hope the unanimity of the Zim teams will pull through and the problem be fixed once and for all, unlike a makeshift situation that has prevailed in SL.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

I am sure it hurts the players to go on a strike for their bread and butter,more so because on the other end they are sacrificing playing for their national side.This hurts the overall development of the sport as budding cricketers would feel it is worthless to play for their country.Sure, it is a matter of pride playing for your nation, but one would expect at the minimum some amount not for their monthly bills but for survival.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

One definitely has to feel for the Zimbabwe cricketers. It is understandable that these cricketers do not get paid as much as the players of other mainstream teams. But, for what I believe is that the player's union and the players themselves have to act maturely here. They are currently hosting an international series and they should not give such ultimatums at this time. If they are to do this kind of protest, it should be done when they are not playin any series. They can threaten their board when they are expecting a future series. Not when they are in one.

Posted by sdavmor on (August 30, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

"An eventual settlement with ZC was reached a week before the first T20. The Zimbabwe Independent reported the players had asked for US$5,000 per Test, US$3,000 per ODI and US$1,500 per T20 but those figures were too steep for ZC. It has since been ascertained that lesser amounts were agreed on." How much less? 2/3? 1/2? Perpetually cash-strapped ZC is poor compared to all other test boards (even Bangladesh I expect), but the players must be paid what the union agreed to. In Zimbabwe there's no more gentleman-farmers who might be able to wear the national colours as skilled amateurs. Every man on that squad has to work for a living and support a family (in some cases extended families) in an broken economy. Do the right thing ZC. Pay up today! Nobody wants to see another cycle of defections to county cricket and other nations to have real careers as cricketers. But that's what will happen, with Jarvis' exit and Ballance's refusal to represent Zimbabwe the tip of a melting iceberg.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

Players are definetely on the right of this pay them what they have earned its that simple. Pakistan has only played 9 test since December 2011. and as a Pakistan fan I would like to see this series go ahead so our players get some test match experience while the Zimbabweans get to see some quality cricket.

Posted by Wharfeseamer on (August 30, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Let us not get the different meanings of "professional" mixed up. Here it is not used to mean someone acting in one of the learned "professions" such as law or medicine. Here "professional" means someone who is paid to play a sport most people conduct as a pastime. These cricketers have EVERY right to not play until they are paid what they are due. It is time the ICC started paying the players directly and deducting the amount from any monies it provides the ZCU.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

One has to feel for the cricketers here. Other international teams don't have to go through what the Zimbabwe team have to face; not being paid their salaries. It would be a disappointing end to the series but one has to remember that these people also need to earn. They aren't super stars as most of international players are with huge advertising benefits. These are players who are doing probably better than we all expected and they want their money.

Posted by Qureshi_21 on (August 30, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

If tomorrow match does'nt happens then pakistan should not play test series as well.zimb player should have resolved this issue before series to start..icc should take notice of Zimb Cricket.What a joke this is turning out be..Ridiculous !

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

I don't know why Zim cricket Board is not approaching ICC for seeking financial help for their cricketers. It is really shame that Zim cricket is going down becoz of finances and ICC is not coming up with help.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

They are professional but they should get the money they deserve, they have rights to protest and doing so... I dont feel different, its good to have your well deserved monies :)

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Are some of you seriously having a go at the Zimbabwean players?

They can't pay bills with sportsmanship. For that matter, how is this even bad sportsmanship? Their employer hasn't paid them and they aren't going to work anymore.

You wonder why the likes of Ballance and Jarvis don't want to have a thing to do with the ZCU or the Zimbabwean national team. This has to be one of the reasons why.

Posted by Lees_Legends on (August 30, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

@Imran Ali: What about respect for your employee's and their families that you don't pay them their EARNT salaries for the whole month of July until August. I like to think I respect my employer and what they represent but I am not a charity and cannot work for free. I assume Zimbabwe's cricketers feel the same.

Posted by king78787 on (August 30, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

@Imran Ali, they get paid next to nothing compared to other international teams, the only way to prove their point is to strike whilst people are taking notice. If they are told you will get your money by Friday morning and their not paid then they should strike.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

All the Best Zimbabwe players. It's perfectly alright that they are holding the cricket board responsible for the promises that were broken by them. The players have been playing better cricket as the series has progressed and it's sad that they are being betrayed by their own cricket board. It's difficult to maintain total commitment on the cricket match if you are not sure that your family will have enough money to live through the next few days.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

it is the way!!!!!! to protest....well well zimbawe.... mantain ur sportsmanship .... n get unite for ur nation...not jst for strike!!!!!!

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

We are talking about highly skilled professionals, the best that Zimbabwe have and they haven't been paid the sums of money due to them since July. Come on, August is over. I wouldn't go to work on Monday if my employer didn't credit my August dues in my account this afternoon. Why should they? They have to pay bills just like the rest of us, families to support, children to take care off. Its not like they play Cricket and then work the late night shift at Walmart. I am with you Zimbabwe Cricket Team!

Posted by android_user on (August 30, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

all the people complaining about zimbabwe players, i wonder how you will react if your company doesnt pay you and expects you to work, and on top of that people blame you for being unprofessional.

Posted by siddharth_r2001 on (August 30, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

@Imran Ali: How long would you continue to keep working for your employer if you were not paid your salary at all? Would you consider about your country's respect and still continue working even without getting paid???

Posted by BillyBoi on (August 30, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

its Zim cricket board fault for not fulfilling the promise. I think their player's union is doing the right think at the time. their shouldn't have promised if its not in the position of paying. This series is becoming a joke now with more drama to come in Test.

Posted by AQ13 on (August 30, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

such a boards need to priortize the players

Posted by android_user on (August 30, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

This is totally unprofessional behaviour by Zimbabwe players. Zimbabwe Cricket Board must take notice of that and pay them their match fees. Shameful

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

If Tomorrow's match doesnt happen Pakistani team should not play the test series as well. What kind of supporting team is this, that they protest during the series. Dont they care about their country's respect?

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Zimbabwe needs international intervention

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

If it happens it will result in a forfeit; like Oval that fateful Oval test a few years ago.

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