Zimbabwe cricket January 27, 2014

ZC close to clinching sponsorship deal


Zimbabwe Cricket are close to clinching a sponsorship deal which could lead to the resumption of domestic cricket in the next few weeks. ESPNcricinfo understands ZC have been in positive talks with Lay's, the potato chip company, who are interesting in backing them.

Although the deal will not cover the total cost of salaries ZC owes their players, it is expected to provide a portion of it. ZC are also hopeful of securing a loan from the ICC, which could ensure they have the funds needed for the game to restart.

Their request for a loan was subject to an audit of ZC's financials which was completed last week. ZC are now waiting to hear from the ICC about whether the money will be made available to them and on what terms. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor hinted the decision could be finalised at the ICC board meeting, which starts tomorrow. He tweeted: "A massive week for us. We all hope some positives come out for ZC and all involved at the ICC meeting in Dubai on Wed. #fingerscrossed."

Initially, ZC asked US$3 million from the ICC, which would cover both the outstanding payment amount (believed to be in the region of US$700,000) and enable them to stage domestic games. The money will not see ZC move completely into the black. They remain steeped in debt to the tune of approximately US$15 million.

While cash-flow problems are not new to Zimbabwean cricket, they have recently become serious enough to disrupt the game. There has been no cricket in Zimbabwe since mid-December, when franchise players went on strike because of non-payment. As a result, there have only been two first-class matches and three fifty-over matches played since Zimbabwe's series against Pakistan last September.

Incoming tours from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan were cancelled while Zimbabwe also had to turn down an offer to play a one-off Test in South Africa because of the financial problems and subsequent refusal of players to take the field. That has left the players with little practice ahead of the World T20 in March, something they are keen to rectify as soon as possible.

An insider confirmed the national players are staying match fit by staging warm-up games against the under-19 team but hope to have other competitive cricket as they prepare for the World T20.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ZCF on January 31, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    @Ahmad I'm hoping for the same too. Sponsorship and the ICC loan should provide enough for a season for the national team players, plus the same for the rest of the franchise players so everything can get back on track in domestic cricket. Late, but better late than never.

    Can't have our players short of match fitness, playing away and risking a mentally sapping loss ahead of the qualifiers, but I think there's still time for the Afghans to tour briefly - 3xODI 14,16&18 Feb (AFG prepare for the Asia Cup against top opposition) and 4xT20s 20-23 Feb (ZIM prepare for the T20WC qualifiers plus hopefully a few other organised practise games against 2 of HK/BD/NEP).

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    I hope ZC get this loan from ICC, we all Afghans are waiting to See Afghanistan Playing series Against Zimbabwe after T20 World Cup. Hopefully Afghanistan will give a tough time for Zimbabwe

  • Graham on January 30, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    Strange ZCF that so many people on here constantly disagree with your postings? also you seem to forget that cricket has been alive in that land for a lot longer than you period you quote..and has never been in a state like this..players like Procter , John Shepherd , Barry Dudleston , Robin Jackmam etc etc played for that land and were always paid their wages on time due to good administration, Administration has only recently failed, No one here posts hateful or misleading facts , even the CRICINFO correspondents for the region are quite clear in their opinion of the Administration of ZC. We do share common ground in the fact that we support Zimbabwe Cricket, however where improvements can be made they must be. Regime change is not always bad, ZC are no different and it is beyond doubt that any other company, or society performed so badly personel would be changed.

  • ZCF on January 30, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    ZC or general, the point still remains. Cricket in Zimbabwe would've been stretched & long collapsed under ZCU if the scale of scholarships, numbers involved at schools, junior, club, women, franchise&national levels were as vast as they have been over the last 15 odd years; and not just a handful of benefactors as was the case in the 8 odd years before that.

    I don't see your point. This deal proves ZC is still alive. Your solution to the detriment was exclusivity&to shrug off responsibility in order to maintain that. To me that's not a solution, that's a form of evil. Chingoka,Bvute&Co chose to be bigger than that, and not to emulate Ellman-Brown,Hogg&Co. Their success in keeping things afloat - with a significantly multiplied burden - over a period almost twice as long as their predecessors is not a disaster. On the contrary, it's a tremendous success in comparison. You're entitled to your skewed opinion, but the facts&the reality on the ground will disagree with you at every turn.

  • Graham on January 30, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST I refer only to ZC , and not a generalisation..

  • ZCF on January 30, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    @grahaam, as detrimental as the original accumulated injustices of displacement you mean?

  • Graham on January 29, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST I think we all know how this works , as we have watched it unfold within ZC Over the last 12 years and how detrimental it can be to established organisations!!!

  • ZCF on January 29, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    @Anti, do you understand how the indegenisation process works?

  • Eugene on January 28, 2014, 23:44 GMT

    Interesting to note that none of these newly-indigenised companies are anywhere to be seen when it comes to supporting Zimbabwean cricket.

  • Faizan on January 28, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    Very happy to hear this news. Hopefully things change for the better as far as ZC is concerned. Good luck and best wishes from Pakistan.

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