Afghanistan in Zimbabwe 2013-14

Afghanistan's Zimbabwe tour cancelled

Firdose Moonda

January 9, 2014

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

The Afghanistan players celebrate their 34-run win over Kenya, Afghanistan v Kenya, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, Group B, Sharjah, November 24, 2013
Zimbabwe was to have been Afghanistan's first tour of a Full Member nation for an international bilateral series © ICC/Getty

Afghanistan's tour to Zimbabwe has been cancelled, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The Associate country was due to visit the African nation later this month for a handful of ODIs and Twenty20s but financial concerns in Zimbabwe have made the tour untenable. Zimbabwe were reportedly seeking to play the matches in Bangladesh but that plan too has been scuppered.

A source close to Zimbabwe Cricket revealed that the "demands of domestic cricket led to the cancellation of the tour." Zimbabwe's domestic players have been on strike since late December due to non-payment. The players have insisted they will not take the field until they receive their salaries, which means there is no fixed date for the resumption of the first-class league.

Zimbabwe Cricket is in severe financial crisis and sources close to the board have revealed they have asked the ICC for yet another loan. A planned visit by Sri Lanka in October 2013 had already been postponed on ZC's request because of a lack of funds.

However, Afghanistan were to bear their logistics expenses in Zimbabwe on their own, so the cancellation seems to be indicative of a wider problem. Zimbabwe's domestic players are on strike due to non-payment of their dues by the board. They did not play the last round of first-class matches before the Christmas break and the indications are they will take the field this year only after they are paid.

With Afghanistan's trip being called off, Zimbabwe will have no practice before the World Twenty20 in March. They would have gone almost six months without any cricket, having last played Pakistan in September. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor tweeted on Friday evening that the team needed to get practicing, keeping the World T20 in mind.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by akshay_heble on (January 15, 2014, 15:50 GMT)

Sad that the tournament has been cancelled. Afghanistan would have got good experience playing Zimbabwe. I feel it would have been closely fought battle between the two teams though it would go in Zimbabwe's favor. I though the series vs India would have brought a lot of financial gains to ZC.

ICC should really pull up its socks and help nations that are financially weak, instead of just being a puppet to the big 3 (BCCI,ECB,CA). I feel they should take a leaf out of FIFA and really work to strengthen and globalize the game.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

its great because afghanistan team could be hamered badly by zimbabwe because they beated australia pakistan and indiaetc................and afghanistan had no status to play cricket they need to go home reither playing in the world cup just pakistan supports this team

Posted by mzamost on (January 13, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

@ Aryaan Hazrat i agree with you cricket is dying coz of money.Chingoka needs to step down from cricket issues.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 12, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

@grahaam I take it then that's why ALL national governments(&companies) ever in existence, have never had budget deficits in order to meet unavoidable expediture they cannot and will never afford! Oh and of course subsequently their economies have never experienced the damaging ripple effects of that.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2014, 8:28 GMT)

Aryaan Hazrat well said, I am fully supporting your words. For me it is truly disappointed by the Zimbabwe cricket to cancel the tour rather than to postponed the events.....

Posted by grahaam on (January 11, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

@ZCFOutkast In your latest post you again contradict yourself...all you are explaining is that The board running ZC are incompetent in doing so ...your comments make it clear that despite knowing the cost of things, and knowing they could not afford it , they continued anyway!!! Thank you for backing up our points , which may help get an admin change in ZC and pave the way for a better future before it is to late!!!!

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 10, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

@Jonah the only revenue, apart from a joke of a TV rights deal, came from the WCs, plus two IND tours! ICC share is $5.5m/yr avg. Do the math!

2009 was domestic cricket with 5 franchises, bloated squads&costly overseas players. Same year, ZIM had 6 tours, & in 2010 7 tours. 2011 it was time to resume Tests. Apart from the WC, the 3 tours had full Test,ODI&T20 Series! 2012 may seem cheap with only the NZ tour&the T20WC in SL, but ZIM also hosted two unoffical Tri-Series - Twenty20 with SA-A&BD-A, plus 50Over with SL&BD. 2013 saw 4 tours, and there wasn't anything left for SL tour after servicing debts as well.

Along the way they have had to host Associates for the I-Cup "imposed" upon them out of budget. NZ-A, SA-A&Aus-A all toured at least a couple of times as well. All this excludes junior&women's national cricket tours, administration salaries, coaches at all levels, umpires, groundsmen, and other expenses such rent, travel costs&accomodation for the franchise teams each weekend...

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 10:19 GMT)

I am wondering that though Afghanistan took all its financial expenditure, still ZIM. Who is the so called a full test member cannot pay for their own cost. This is absolutely a shame for the ICC & ZIM. If ICC really wants this game to survive, it should provide & support opportunities to other associates that are knocking on the door, especially Afghanistan & Ireland.

Posted by Anti_ZCFOutkast on (January 9, 2014, 23:51 GMT)

ZC have no reason to exist. Their role is to sell cricket to Zimbabwe, but they have no product to sell anymore. No cricket being played, no ZC. Time for the ICC to appoint some local stakeholders as temporary administrators who actually care about cricket more than lining their pockets.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 9, 2014, 21:36 GMT)

Aryaan Hazrat: Sir, as much as I admire Afghan cricket, your comment is filled with illusion rather than concrete evidence to support your wish. In order for Afghanistan and Ireland to get test status, they need to have self-sustained and well developed domestic first class structure. Both countries DO NOT have that luxury now. To play test cricket, players need to constantly perform well in club/regional cricket first before they can put forward competitive XIs out at the international level. Unless Ireland and Afghanistan do that, they cannot play test cricket.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 19:44 GMT)

Cricket is dying in that part of the world it is because cricket is played for the money not passion. ICC please give Afghanistan & Ireland a 5 year temporary Test status to see if they can make it! Plus what is there to lose? I can feel something is wrong with the current system it is just not working.

Posted by grahaam on (January 9, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

@Jonah well said , I am supporting your comments but my own lines are not being published just now...keep up the good work and keep the pressure on this administration that has ruined cricket in Zimbabwe.

Posted by Jonah58 on (January 9, 2014, 18:21 GMT)

No ZFC you miss the point. ZC are granted MILLIONS every year from ICC full member funding. Where does this money go? Ireland have NOT reduced the number of full time contracts they issue, but they do attract outside sponsorships because of the transparency of their accountability and the professionalism of their leadership. Zimbabwe cricket is a blight on international cricket worldwide and without clear transparent and accountable leadership within the organisation it will continue to be so. Henry Olonga and Titenda Taibu said as much when they walked away from the farce that is Zimbabwe Cricket. But unlike so many others before and since they did not have the European grandparents to fall back on to protect their lively hoods. It is time you stopped endlessly spouting the party line and stood up for the PLAYERS in your country they after all are the ones that count.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 9, 2014, 17:45 GMT)

@Jonah58, you're conveniently misrepresenting facts in your comparisons. IRE started with just 2 contracts, it gradually went up to 23, but has now been reduced. Not enough money? Their club cricket is self-sustaining, and they get a lot of finance through the local councils - ultimately government! AFG have a huge sponsor, recently introduced contracts(on par with ZIM). Before that players mostly relied on family to help them finance international matches. That's nothing if you compare both to ZIM, who not only give central contracts to national players, but a further 65+ FC cricketers.

FLT20&YB40 get screened live. That's revenue due to them from a broadcaster, and their collective pool revenue gets shared accordingly to supplement grants. Clubs&schools have players who can afford kit, equipment(&subscriptions). But the ECB, like India have enormous revenue coming in. That the mighty BCCI counts as a reference point according to you shows you miss the crux of the matter completely!

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 17:01 GMT)

Cricket is dying outside the top 4 test nations, ICC need to expand before this sport becomes a relic

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 9, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

Some of the reasoning here is quite frightening. By being relegated to an associate, are you suggesting that ZIM will suddenly be able to afford to host teams who meet their own costs? The present scenario regarding AFG, doesn't change even if ZIM was an Associate!

The reason why they are not Full Members is because their players turn up - without obligation - on the odd weekend for a club game; & camp only if they're playing internationals, before going back to their weekly jobs. No costly FC setup to drain funds for salaries, just OCCASIONAL match fees, day allowances, flight&hotel costs for ~15!

In that event, top players like Chigumbura, Taylor&Hamilton would, like ten Doeschate, leave international cricket to the likes of Chinouya&Waller, while they go for T20 stints all over the world!

It's partly ZIM players who need to wake up and accept facts because either way, there are no jobs available in ZIM. So if you're not playing cricket you'll still wind up idling around like now!

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

BCCI shid ask Icc panel to take concernerd steps for Afghanistan. I hve bn closely obseving afg for d past few months and has noticed dat it shud earn a valuable test medal. They need to compete against guys like us.

Posted by Jonah58 on (January 9, 2014, 15:39 GMT)

ZFCOutkast Unlike what other boards? Ireland and Afghanistan directly contract and pay their players officials and coaches on FAR less funding than that already given to ZC as a full member. England, Aus etc. pay to their 'franchises' to pay players and officials, India have the best funding of all cricketers present and past of any cricket board, ever, period. Lets face cricket in Zimbabwe is a farce, it is an embarrassment to world cricket. When one of the top associates commits to fund its own tour of the country against a 'test playing elite' no less, Zimbabwe still cannot get a team on the park. Absolutely abysmal and an insult to the associates and affiliates that are somehow deemed inferior to this 'Elite full member'

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

I feel it is about time for Zimbabwe cricket to become an associate member. Zimbabwe is not a horrible team, there are good cricketers present in Zimbabwe, plus, they won their last test series against Pakistan. However, as far as I see it, this financial crisis for Zimbabwe cricket will not get any better if there are still barely any tours being held.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

can they have a series with Pakistan?

Posted by THOR7 on (January 9, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

Forget Zimbabwe, Afganistan should play a 5 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 3 non official five day games with Ireland. C'mon ICC, give these up coming countries a chance to shine. Let them play against good teams at the bottom of the ICC ranks to get exposure and experience.... That would do a world of good to these two teams.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

I think we sport Afghan team very much i like it

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 9, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

The president of ZC Peter Chingoka, through an interview made a very important point - unlike other boards ZC takes care of EVERYTHING!!!

Why some of you fellows persist, at every opportunity, in drawing parallels between Zimbabwe and other countries such as Ire&Afg, makes no sense at all. It's pointless to think of the Zimabwe of old. Think of cricket in Zimbabwe as 2006-2011 when they resume Test cricket. Even the Full Member grant they were entitled to over that period was nowhere near the needed budget.

The scale of cricket in Zimbabwe completely dwarfs that in those countries. Get back to me when they have had at least 5 full seasons with five franchises, while solely carrying the burden of funding numerous schools, clubs, international women&junior teams, multiple student scholarhisps and countless other financial committments. If neither Ire, Afg plus any other Associate would not have collapsed like ZC, depending on just that Full Member grant&little else, then we can chat!

Posted by Younas126 on (January 9, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

Very Sad News, Afghanistan should ask from other permanent qualified contries before Asia cup.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 9, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

This view is rather simplistic gentlemen! Zimbabwe Cricket have domestic cricket to run. That includes at least 80 contracted player, 10 coaches&six umpires. Of those 80 players, about 20 are owed salaries for international matches over the last couple of seasons. Further to that, there is their own administrations, curators&groundmen, franchise administrators plus junior&women's cricket.

This is everything before we even take into consideration what needed to be made available for the Afghanistan tour as well as the upcoming T20WC. For a country with no income&sponsorship of note, as well as zero credit lines, where on earth do you expect them to get the funds to fulfill even the most modest of budgets? Unless the ICC out of it's own pockets, as well as it heading a constant fundraising campagn through other Full Member boards, cricket in Zimbabwe will never be sustainable.

It's therefore very simplistic to say "they can't produce even if the visitors are paying for themselves".....

Posted by MariusRoodt on (January 9, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

Terrible news. However, the ICC needs to support the well-run associates, such as Ireland and Afghanistan. Political interference killed Zim cricket.

Re: tours though, perhaps the A teams from other countries can tour to give the Zimbos some cricket?

Posted by Rafelgibt on (January 9, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

Very sad to hear that.I think ZIM cricket should take a break at least from the TESTs to make things right.As a ZIM's friend all the way from Bangladesh i feel really sorry for them.But without taking TIME no other options are available for ZIM right now.And to the AFGAN friends, very soon we are going to face each other in Bangladesh soil inshallah.Till then WAIT is the only medicine for all of us.Good luck for all...

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 9, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

Afghanistan should ask for Bangladesh to play instead. Though I doubt it will be anytime before the world T20 but later during the year, I see no reasons why 2 teams cannot meet. If not then there is Pakistan and possibly South Africa who are free for a large part this year. I agree with those that what's the point of Zimbabwe being a full member if they have serious financial problems and don't play games? Cricket needs sorting from behind the scenes.

Posted by andrew.henshaw on (January 9, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

Absolutely pathetic. Zimbabwe have been a disgrace for 10 years now, whereas Ireland have a professional structure yet still don't have test status. A real shame for Afghanistan too.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

Time to revoke Zimbabwe'a full member status, at least until they show they can find a competent administration. Ireland should become the 10th full member and take Zimbabwe's place in the Future Tours Programme, with Afghanistan getting more ODIs against full members too, and invitations to tour the full member countries and play against their 'A' sides in 4 day matches.

Posted by MeijiMura on (January 9, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

If Zimbabwe can't afford to host visiting countries, even when those visiting countries offer to pay for their own expenses, then how on earth will they be able to afford the trip to Bangladesh for the T20 World Cup Qualifiers and tournament proper should they somehow pull off a miracle and beat Ireland to get through, and the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after that? Either the ICC have to revoke Zimbabwe's international status or they have to bail them out. Things can't continue as they are now as it is bringing the game into disrepute.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 9:44 GMT)

bad news for Afghanistan. It would have been a very good experience for the Afghan players.

Posted by Azooz-Afgfan on (January 9, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

Shame very disappointing by ZC! Why canceling the tour when ACB already said that they will bear with the tour expense! Time to pull test status from ZC and hand it to Afghanistan.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

I was waiting for this trip but its really sad to hear that,

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

bad news zimbabwe afraid from afghnistan

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

I think Afghanistan did their job to pay for their own expanses now the problem is with the Zimbabwe cricket board hopefully they can fix this problem as soon as possible so this tour can go on good luck Zimbabwe hopefully we can meet you in the near future

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

Get rid of ZC and get a new accountable and honest administration in place

Posted by Mohammad_Yasa on (January 9, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

Very bad news for Afghanistan followed by a good one as Afghanistan is included in Asia Cup. This would have given opportunity of practice for both teams ahead of the World T20. Hope the problem in ZC is over as soon as possible.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 9, 2014, 7:14 GMT)

So when does the ICC step in for the benefit of the game?

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