Zimbabwe players' dispute February 8, 2005

A return to the fold?

Cricinfo staff

Heath Streak: coming in from the cold? © Getty Images

A return to international cricket is a possibility for Heath Streak, and some of the other so-called rebel players, as a result of a series of meetings with Zimbabwe Cricket to broker a resolution to the long-standing dispute.

The players have refused to play for Zimbabwe since last April, after a disagreement about selection policy led Streak to resign and be replaced as captain by Tatenda Taibu. Fourteen other players supported him, although some have since rejoined the mainstream of Zimbabwean cricket, and the remaining rebels recently agreed to resume playing league matches.

But today Streak - who is by far Zimbabwe's leading bowler in Tests, with 202 wickets - told Reuters: "We have a meeting on Friday, and following on from the constructive meetings we've had so far we're hopeful of a positive outcome." Apparently the Zimbabwean government's sports commission helped set up the meetings.

Zimbabwe are shortly due to depart for a tour of South Africa, which includes two Tests and three ODIs. It's unlikely that the rebels' dispute will be resolved in time for them to take part in those matches, but after that Zimbabwe do not have any international cricket planned until they play New Zealand in September.