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

Zimbabwe players agree to play first Test

  shares 15

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

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | September 2, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Glad to see the Zimbabwean boys playing. Zimbabwe need to be playing test cricket at home to expand the game there, which will bring bigger crowds and more players, which would bring more cash to the board.

    I don't hold with bashing Williams. He has not been paid for his services and is justified for not playing. It was his choice and he should be respected for it.

    It would be good if the I.C.C. took over players salaries, at least at test level. That way things such as this would not happen. It would also be a better incentive for players to focus on test cricket.

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | September 3, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    All the best to Brendan Talylor and his fam!

  • POSTED BY android_user 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???

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY Desihungama 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.

  • POSTED BY Anti_ZCFOutkast 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!

  • POSTED BY Nduru 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.

  • POSTED BY 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!!

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | September 2, 2013, 18:10 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY JRR562004 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.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | September 2, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Glad to see the Zimbabwean boys playing. Zimbabwe need to be playing test cricket at home to expand the game there, which will bring bigger crowds and more players, which would bring more cash to the board.

    I don't hold with bashing Williams. He has not been paid for his services and is justified for not playing. It was his choice and he should be respected for it.

    It would be good if the I.C.C. took over players salaries, at least at test level. That way things such as this would not happen. It would also be a better incentive for players to focus on test cricket.

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | September 3, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    All the best to Brendan Talylor and his fam!

  • POSTED BY android_user 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???

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY Desihungama 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.

  • POSTED BY Anti_ZCFOutkast 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!

  • POSTED BY Nduru 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.

  • POSTED BY 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!!

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | September 2, 2013, 18:10 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY JRR562004 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.

  • POSTED BY on | September 2, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    I wish the best of luck to the underdogs Zimbabwe once again. Please don't disappoint me this time, guys. Put up a fight. You've got some promising players who could and should get more runs than they do. Now's your chance. Go for it.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | September 2, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    @graham this is Test cricket, FC format to be precise. Raza? Are you joking? In his Eagles franchise, he is behind Matsi, Chibhabha, Mutizwa, Chakabva&Elton. I'm tempted to add the seamer allrounders Mbofana&young Nathan Waller ahead of him because I doubt that in this format he's an upgrade on them, particularly since they are both genuine allrounders.

    This is wrong. Watching Malcolm&Maruma struggling to middle a single ball with Pak bringing in the class of Younis&patience of young Shafiq while classy Matsi is idling in his living room & Williams is sulking.

    There is a reason why the Eagles turned to a 2nd XI player(Kondo) before Raza was recalled & hidden in middle order. He has zero FC temperament, & bereft of technique - just wild swats of the bat. Even PJ Moor who's having his usual shocker in lower leagues club cricket would walk in&do better than him.

  • POSTED BY on | September 2, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Reminds me of 1999 when these problems began for Zim. I loved their 1999 world cup team. It was one of the most complete teams with all rounders Johnson and Streak, leg spinner Strang, Flower bros etc. I think this pay dispute will contine to haunt the current team as well. Its a pity that Zim keeps losing players.

  • POSTED BY grahaam on | September 2, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Williams at it again? There are not many people in the world who would go to work not knowing if the company could pay them old wages , let alone future and current salaries. Williams decision severely weakens the middle order , especially with Ervine gone too. I agree with ZCF_OUTKAST Vermeulen's experience would probably help , but not being in the squad that is not an option now...Raza will make his debut and maybe the longer format will give him less pressure to settle..Overall a very weak side from Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 2, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Cricket should always come before money. Hats off to zimbabwe players.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 2, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Cricket should always come before money. Hats off to zimbabwe players.

  • POSTED BY grahaam on | September 2, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Williams at it again? There are not many people in the world who would go to work not knowing if the company could pay them old wages , let alone future and current salaries. Williams decision severely weakens the middle order , especially with Ervine gone too. I agree with ZCF_OUTKAST Vermeulen's experience would probably help , but not being in the squad that is not an option now...Raza will make his debut and maybe the longer format will give him less pressure to settle..Overall a very weak side from Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | September 2, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Reminds me of 1999 when these problems began for Zim. I loved their 1999 world cup team. It was one of the most complete teams with all rounders Johnson and Streak, leg spinner Strang, Flower bros etc. I think this pay dispute will contine to haunt the current team as well. Its a pity that Zim keeps losing players.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | September 2, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    @graham this is Test cricket, FC format to be precise. Raza? Are you joking? In his Eagles franchise, he is behind Matsi, Chibhabha, Mutizwa, Chakabva&Elton. I'm tempted to add the seamer allrounders Mbofana&young Nathan Waller ahead of him because I doubt that in this format he's an upgrade on them, particularly since they are both genuine allrounders.

    This is wrong. Watching Malcolm&Maruma struggling to middle a single ball with Pak bringing in the class of Younis&patience of young Shafiq while classy Matsi is idling in his living room & Williams is sulking.

    There is a reason why the Eagles turned to a 2nd XI player(Kondo) before Raza was recalled & hidden in middle order. He has zero FC temperament, & bereft of technique - just wild swats of the bat. Even PJ Moor who's having his usual shocker in lower leagues club cricket would walk in&do better than him.

  • POSTED BY on | September 2, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    I wish the best of luck to the underdogs Zimbabwe once again. Please don't disappoint me this time, guys. Put up a fight. You've got some promising players who could and should get more runs than they do. Now's your chance. Go for it.

  • POSTED BY JRR562004 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.

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | September 2, 2013, 18:10 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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!!

  • POSTED BY Nduru 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.

  • POSTED BY Anti_ZCFOutkast 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!