The Zimbabwe crisis February 5, 2006

Players angry at Curran's interference

Kevin Curran, Zimbabwe's coach, has been accused of trying to persuade some of the country's striking players to sign the controversial new contracts offered to them by the board.

Curran replaced Phil Simmons last August, but he was not a popular choice among the players who felt he was too close to the board, and in October all the national squad signed a letter to Zimbabwe Cricket demanding Simmons's reinstatement.

Curran's appointment was reconfirmed by the new interim executive last month, but it is claimed that last week he attempted to convince some players that the deal on offer was a good one, despite their stated reluctance to agree to the terms on offer.

"All Kevin seems to be concerned about is that he has a team so that he can keep his job," a source told Cricinfo. "The feeling among the players is that he will use them to keep his position. They don't feel he has the same approach to them as Simmons did. Kevin sees the players as a product while Phil used to see them as individuals."

Curran is believed to have told ZC officials that he has to have a squad to train by the start of the week or he will not be able to get them ready in time to play Kenya or Bangladesh. Not only does that seem highly unlikely, but this latest news shows that the rift between players and board - and players and coach - is widening all the time.

  • Cricinfo has learned that the stories claiming the players had all signed new contracts came from a senior board official who briefed local journalists on Friday.

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