Zimbabwe news August 16, 2013

Zimbabwe players make peace with board


Zimbabwe's players are "back to full training," and are likely to rubber-stamp an agreement with their board on Saturday after agreeing terms on payment. The newly formed players' union will continue to represent cricketers' issues and the series against Pakistan will go ahead as planned.

ESPNcricinfo confirmed the players have reached consensus with Zimbabwe Cricket after two days of meetings. One of them, who asked not to be named, said ZC had provided an assurance that outstanding salaries from the month of July would be paid and that cricketers would receive match fees from now on.

The exact amount has not been revealed, although the Zimbabwe Independent had reported players were demanding US$5,000 per Test match, $3,000 for an ODI and $1,500 for every T20. Given that the board is in severe debt, it is unlikely it will be able to match those figures but the players are said to be satisfied with the amounts ZC has offered.

"We wanted to make them aware we were the only international team that were playing without match fees," the player said. "Now we will be receiving them."

The issue of disbursements from the board's share of ICC events, which ZC MD Wilfred Mukondiwa said on Friday morning was the only outstanding article of debate, has still not been resolved. Instead, the players have been told the board needs "more time to do research," and will clarify its position on how the monies from such tournaments will be distributed in an appendix to the new playing contracts.

With financial concerns smoothed over, the players will continue to prepare for the series against Pakistan that starts August 23, with the board announcing a 21-member practice squad. "Training has resumed in full and as things stand now, there will be no boycott of the series," the player said.

However, the players' association formed by a group of senior players - believed to be Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya and Elton Chigumbura - will become a permanent fixture in Zimbabwe cricket.

"It was something the players put together because we did not have a proper arrangement in the past. The board is now open to the idea of having a player association and we wanted to take that chance," the player said. "There are a lot if issues that crop up in Zimbabwean cricket and without a singular voice it was very difficult for us to get things done."

Zimbabwe have had many aborted attempts at a players' association and have not had a fully functioning body since a player representative sat on the board before the white-player walkout. Unlike then, when Zimbabwe's players were divided over race, they "all united" in their cause to fight for what they consider better pay.

Zimbabwe's cricketers have long been considered underpaid. On the eve of their Test comeback in 2011, Tatenda Taibu said they were not receiving adequate funding. Just four months ago, not much had changed. The players threatened a no-show during Bangladesh's April visit because of an unsatisfactory daily allowance for those who were not on central contracts.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mahjut on August 22, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Looking at the squad; Tino, Vusi, Raza, Hammi, Brendon (hoping for an end to poor form), Williams (or Waller), Elton, Shingi, Prosper, Chatara and Vitori (or Chinouya). a long tail but fairly thick at the top end of it with at least on of Elton, Shingi or prosper able to add some late runs

  • mahjut on August 22, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    How does 'African culture' (if the concept itself exists - I am not hugely amenable to encouraging the commonly held view that Africa is a country, rather than a continent) view employment? "You, as an employee, are subject entirely to our (employers) 'whims of employment'"? "Employer obligations: absolutely none! Employer duties: to decide when and, indeed, IF to pay employees! Employee obligations: to put up and shut up! Employee duties: to be obedient and subservient"? ...first line or two of any 'African contract' apparently (or maybe the idea of a contract is 'culturally relative' - lovely term, if you're looking for an excuse to impinge on one's human rights)???

    back to cricket, which is where Outcast and I have more in common: although I am not hugely in favour of constant rotation (despite a good domestic and international showing from Chinouya) - Jarvis is not worth his LO spot , nor is Cremer...though Malcolm's fine. Unceremoniously disregarded Ray would still walk in too

  • ZCF on August 18, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    What counts now is that players are on board to participate in the Pak series so cricket is the winner. In African culture, it's rather disrespectful to your guests to behave in this manner, so our boys should know better.

    Focusing on the squad, it's nice to see Mawayo's recovered. I'm happy Panyangara's in the frame. It was scandalous to leave Shingi out last time so his inclusion should be a formality. The fact that I don't rate Jarvis is an open secret, so with two seamers superior to him(Shingi&Vitori), plus two with better control than him(Panyangara&Chatara), I don't see how he would make the final team. Particularly after the marauding Chinouya hurried the Indian batsmen that much more.

    I'm embarrassed to see Cremer's name appear once again in a Zimbabwe international side. This is getting out of hand. Two easy 100 runs per innings to Pak then! Hope the selectors are smarter than that. Sadly my calls for an inquiry into Malcolm's inexplicable presence continue to be ignored!

  • Graham on August 17, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    I have watched 2 cricket matches over the last 24 hours and followed another , I have witnessed 3 Zimbabwean players excel, Gary Ballance century for England Lions against Australia Ryan Higgins 50 for England under 19 v Pakistan, and today Sean Ervines fine innings for Hampshire...these were all stand out performances in the respective matches...the reason these fine players are abroad is simply because of ZCs mismanagement and distribution of funds.

  • Paul on August 17, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @ZCF_Outkast: Do you not think that maybe their performance is suffering because of the fact they had no idea if/when they were going to get paid? I'm sure with a proper payment structure in place, the players will be able to stop worrying about the finance side of things as much, and concentrate on improving their games.

  • Graham on August 17, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    @ZCF_OUTCAST There is enough Historical evidence in Zimbabwe , structural ruins , rock painting , to name a couple that clearly indicate that the indigenous people of that land is unknown!! I am sure ZC are not going to fund only" indigenous" players , as you put it. This is a ridiculous thing to mention when the team is moving forward with a squad of players from a number of different backgrounds and cultures. Asian European and African.

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    surely the board has to pay the players. Now zim is losing players like craig ervine.

  • Nandkishor on August 17, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    ICC should come in picture here and fixed minimum remuneration to the player who r reprenting their countries.....and keep parity in the paying scheme of the player.....

  • Taahir on August 17, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    I think this is a very important step in the right direction for Zim Cricket who find some of their best players leaving the country for greener pastures (eg Gary Balance) to play in England, Ireland or New Zealand.

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    great site of cricket. i love this site..

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