The Zimbabwe crisis December 3, 2005

Justice Ebrahim calls emergency meeting

Cricinfo staff

Ahmed Ebrahim: 'It is very important that we act quickly' © ZC
Zimbabwe's senior players and stakeholders have been invited to an emergency meeting in Harare on Monday where the one subject will be the crisis affecting the game in the country.

The meeting has been called by Justice Ahmed Ebrahim, the vice-president of Zimbabwe Cricket and a former supreme court judge, in the light of growing national and international concern over the rift between senior officials of ZC on the one side and players and administrators on the other.

"I am calling together all the provincial chairpeople, all stakeholders and all legitimate members of the board," Ebrahim told the Associated Press. "It is very important that we act quickly. The staff will also need assurances." It is not known whether Peter Chingoka, the embattled ZC chairman, and Ozias Bvute, the MD, will attend.

There was due to be a board meeting today, but once again it was cancelled after Chingoka claimed that it had not been possible to raise a quorum. That was disputed by his opponents who maintained that it was another move aimed at thwarting attempts to call the board to account.

Ebrahim said he wanted former captain Tatenda Taibu, other senior players and player spokesperson Blessing Mahwire to also attend Monday's meeting. Ebrahim said he would ask Taibu whether he would consider reversing his decision to quit the captaincy. Taibi has said that if Chingoka and Bvute are removed then he will reconsider his position. It is also possible that were the two to leave then other players might reconsider their own decisions to retire.

With the players refusing to represent Zimbabwe until the pair are ousted, it could be that Monday's meeting is decisive in removing them. That Ebrahim, a senior figure in Zimbabwe cricket and one who is respected internationally, has made this announcement is a serious blow to Chingoka and Bvute. It was also noticeable that he asked Phil Simmons to attend. Simmons was fired as Zimbabwe coach by the board and replaced by Kevin Curran, but the players have made it clear that they do not support the new man and want Simmons reinstated. Ebrahim tellingly referred to Simmons as "the national coach" and said that Curran's status had yet to be sorted out.