The Zimbabwe crisis June 14, 2004

Chingoka defends Zimbabwe's corner

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Peter Chingoka puts the case according to the ZCU © Getty Images
The Zimbabwe Cricket Union held a press conference in Harare this afternoon to brief the media on last week's talks with the ICC in Dubai and insisted that Zimbabwe's Test status had not been suspended.

Peter Chingoka, the chairman of the ZCU, told reporters that the board had agreed to "revision" of the four Tests scheduled for later this year until 2005. He explained that Zimbabwe's Test status had never been up for review at the Dubai meeting and that it had "its Test status and enjoys all the benefits and obligations that come with it, just like the other nine full member countries."

And Chingoka tersely dismissed accusations that the ZCU was guilty of discrimination. "Nothing could be further from the truth than the unjustified accusation of racism mischievously levelled against the ZCU," he said. "Our integration process is not just all-embracing in intention but also in implementation. We have continued to promote, develop and administer the game of cricket for the benefit of all Zimbabweans without discrimination of any kind.

"We remain committed to the full implementation of this document, whose contents have stood the test of time."

He went on to explain that India, Australia and South Africa had all offered their support to try and help Zimbabwe gain much-needed experience. The three countries have offered places within their high-performance programmes to Zimbabwe's promising players, as well as making available facilities for the development of coaches and umpires.

Chingoka defended the constitutional process for the appointment of the ZCU board which, he insisted, "involves an independent panel made up of senior and respectable citizens.

"The meeting was impressed and satisfied with our presentation and requested that we make a similar presentation to the ICC executive board which meets in London on the 30th of this month."

And he concluded by repeating that he hoped that the dispute with the rebel cricketers could be resolved but reiterated the board's line that the matter was not one which needed the involvement of the ICC disputes committee.