Zimbabwe facing crisis as stakeholders revolt
The meeting at the Old Hararians club was attended by chairmen of Masvingo, Manicaland, Matabeleland, Midlands, Matabelaland Country Districts, Mashonaland Country Districts and Mashonaland, as well as players' representatives.
However, Mashonaland, the most influential single province, who are themselves embroiled in an internal power struggle, were represented by Cyprian Mandenge, who leads the pro-ZC board faction, and Elvis Sembezeya who heads the anti-ZC board faction. As a result, the two did not have a say in the proceedings.
The other six provincial associations passed a vote of no-confidence in the national board, and that motion will be communicated to Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, on Monday. They also demanded the appointment of a forensic auditor to investigate the board's finances amid growing reports of irregularities.
The result of the vote is that Zimbabwe Cricket will almost certainly have to call a special general meeting within 21 days to hear the views of all stakeholders. However, in a bid to avert the potential embarrassment of a no-confidence motion being passed then, ZC have announced the creation of five new provinces - Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Matabaleleand South and Matabeleland North - despite the fact that critics claim there is precious little cricket played in these regions.
The new provinces are likely to vote in favour of the existing regime. One, Mashonaland West, already have an executive - Themba Mliswa. He is a well-known figure and was described as a pro-Mugabe activist who has been involved in activities close to the ruling Zanu-PF party.
According to a source at the club on Friday, Mliswa interrupted proceedings and claimed that he had been sent by the state security department to call it off as it was an illegally convened meeting of the opposition MDC party. It seems that word of his likely disruption was leaked in advance and local police were on site to remove him.
Earlier in the day an emergency ZC board meeting did not take place after the directors once again failed to constitute a quorum as signs of cracks grew deeper.
Most board members failed to turn up for the meeting on Friday in a move insiders said was a protest against the way some executives have been unilaterally making unpopular decisions. The sources say there has been internal divergence in ZC against the selection process used to choose three new directors appointed on the ZC board this week. Wilson Manase, a lawyer, Charlie Robertson, chairman of Mashonaland Country Districts, and Tavengwa Mukuhlani, the controversial former chairman of the Mashonaland Cricket Association, were appointed to the board this week, replacing ZC managing director Ozias Bvute, and former directors Hemant Patel and Rick Pettipher.
This latest showdown follows weeks of player unrest over contracts and the dismissal of Phil Simmons as national coach. Three cricketers - Heath Streak, Stuart Carlisle and Craig Wishart - have announced their retirement in the last month while others have made clear their deep unease with the way the national game is being administered.
On the field, a sequence of dismal results were capped this week when an almost full-strength Zimbabwe A side were whitewashed 3-0 in Harare by Kenya.