Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Test, Harare September 2, 2013

Zimbabwe players agree to play first Test


Zimbabwe's players have decided against boycotting the Test series against Pakistan, easing some of the uncertainty over whether the matches would take place. The players had been protesting against late payments, and had set Zimbabwe Cricket a Monday deadline to transfer the money to their accounts.

The players haven't received their dues yet but Brendan Taylor, the captain, told ESPNcricinfo they were willing to "take the word of ZC that they will pay before the second Test."

The only Zimbabwe player who has refused to play the first Test, which starts on Tuesday, is Sean Williams, who decided he wouldn't take part unless he was paid. Wilfred Mukondiwa, the MD of Zimbabwe Cricket, said the board was working with its bankers to ensure players received their payments at the earliest.

Other than Williams, the only Zimbabwe player to miss Monday's training session was Taylor, who was away on paternity leave. He was expecting the birth of his son on Monday, and Taylor had not yet decided whether he would play the first Test.

Zimbabwe's players had aborted their training session ahead of last Friday's ODI against Pakistan, and there had been doubts over whether that game would go ahead. The players and their newly-formed union decided against boycotting the ODI but the Test series was in danger till today's decision.

The latest pay dispute first reared its head two weeks ago, before the start of the Pakistan tour, when the players formed a union and refused to train until their demands were met.

This is not the first time salaries have caused problems in Zimbabwe cricket this year. The players threatened a boycott before their April series against Bangladesh in protest over what they considered an unsatisfactory daily allowance for non-centrally contracted players.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Murta on September 3, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    All the best to Brendan Talylor and his fam!

  • Android on September 3, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Its a good example of football how international franchises invest in clubs for their development. Its my personal opinion that the ICC should take the initiative of finding investors for countries like Zimbabwe to help strengthen their roots and prosperity of the game in that region. This is no England or Australia who are pretty self sufficient when it comes to funds. The economical imbalance in that region needs external support and the ICC should take the initiative. Secondly, the latest technology should be provided for all games and the standard should be maintained everywhere. A cricket match being played in Australia England South Africa or New Zealand will have the latest tech support to help umpiring decisions where as matches in Zimbabwe and West Indies will not. These are test playing nations also. Do they deserve to be treated on equality basis or not???

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    A real shame that it even came to this, I just hope that ZC do not let the players down again

  • Jawwad on September 3, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    I feel for Zimbabwe players. ZC is thinking of stop gap solutions. Where will the wages come for next series considering board is under severe debt? Really, ICC needs to step up and help them financially along with any other board that needs help. I don't know how the dynamics work whether you arrange more series for them, have top teams tour them or simply create funds for struggling boards. Losing one or two top guys can really effect performance on the day.

  • Eugene on September 3, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    ZC at it again, not paying its players. Sean Williams is right to take a stand, if only all the other players had the gumption to do so!

  • Andrew on September 2, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    Not sure people can expect cricket to always come before money! Are these guys meant to have no way of supporting their families while they entertain us or what?

    Congrats Taylor on your son! Mine is a year old today.

  • Dummy4 on September 2, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    This match will be over in three days. That will help ZCU, as the players should be on peace work wages!!

  • Arvind on September 2, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Will they be using DRS, since BCCI is not involved?

  • Jeremy on September 2, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Why should the players wait indefinitely for their salaries, its not as if they have huge incomes, they have families and expenses. Hats off for those who have agreed to play, though they are likely to get another promise just before the second test, Williams has every right to make the decision he has done and time will tell if he or the rest of the team who was right. Wilfred I am sure gets paid on time and gets his cut at the same time.