Zimbabwe news January 31, 2014

Pay promised, Zimbabwe strike nears end

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zimbabwe's cricketers have been assured they will be paid in full in the next 10 days, according to a senior player. Should the salaries come through, resumption of the domestic competition will take place as soon as February 10, with a twenty-over tournament in preparation for the World Twenty20 later this month.

A meeting was held between players, technical staff and Zimbabwe Cricket officials at Harare Sports Club to resolve the strike which has put Zimbabwe's domestic season on hold for more than a month. According to a ZC press release, ZC chairman Peter Chingoka said that arrangements had been made to "pay all the outstanding salaries and match fees". A meeting on Monday will decide details of a training camp ahead of the World Twenty20 which starts in March.

ZC could have the money to pay players thanks to an ICC loan they had applied for, which was discussed at this week's ICC meeting in Dubai. The money, along with a sponsorship deal from potato chip company Lay's, will not cover ZC's entire debt of up to US$18 million, but it should allow the board to compensate players and coaches, and conduct matches.

Zimbabwe have not played international cricket since September, when they were visited by Pakistan and then had three series put on the backburner. Sri Lanka's tour to Zimbabwe, scheduled for last October, was postponed due to lack of funds, while a limited-overs series against Afghanistan that was due to take place in January and an offer to play off a one-off Test against South Africa next week were both cancelled because of the player boycott.

No domestic cricket tournaments have been played in Zimbabwe since mid-December when the players decided to go on strike over non-payment of dues. The boycott has left Zimbabwe woefully short of match practice ahead of a major tournament.

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  • Fanwell on February 5, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast- the diligent ZC administration? Under former high school and current compromise coach Andy Waller? If you put as much effort into doing your job at ZC as you did into trying to apportion blame and attempting to create a smokescreen behind which you and your associates will continue to maladminister and misappropriate, Zim Cricket would not be in this mess. No-one believes a word you say, give it a break and do an honest day's work for a change. Better still find another parastatal to bankrupt. Oh wait, there aren't any!!!

  • Graham on February 4, 2014, 19:21 GMT

    While we come here to discuss Zimbabwe Cricket and all its wrongs and rights..we should not forget the U19 team heading for an U19 world cup next week...Good luck to Malcolm Lake and his squad...

  • ZCF on February 4, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    The strike is over. Outstanding salaries will be paid next week. As expected the diligent ZC administration successfully secured the $3m loan from the ICC despite ever-present artificial concerns about ZC financials&mismanagement from the regular prophets of doom. The national squad players will begin training today under former high school&current compromise national coach Waller, in preparation for the upcoming T20WC. The assembled squad players feel confident that despite the little time left available they will be up to the task as they have been training individually and are accustomed to delivering under the same kind of pressure as evidenced by their dominant displays in the series against Pakistan. The domestic cricket season will roar back into life pretty soon too. Exciting! With Africa throwing more weight&faith in Zimbabwean leadership, it's time ZC took the lead Africa too as they are the only nation capable of spearheading genuine development of cricket in the continent.

  • Dummy4 on February 3, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    Light at the end of the tunnel, now would be the time to put ZC in order and consolidate on the calmness. Going into a WC sound systems should be put in place to ensure the rampant looting, huge wage bill(admin) staff will be at a minimum while progress that foster development of grassroots cricket are in place. A few years back ZC had the best development programs of all cricket playing nations although it was only on paper.

  • Daniel on February 3, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    @Mark, I think what blabyroad is probably referring to is the political inferference that has taken place since around 2000, Mugabe had been in power for 20 years prior to that but his grip on power was weakening. He was losing support and the only way he saw through this was going right wing and attacking Western values and ideas. Unfortunately this also involved sport and cricket fell victim to this as it was a sport that Zim was good at and it provided him with a platform to air his views on the world stage, 2003 WC. Two way street though as Henry and Andy proved but that was not going to last. There were several political appointments, Bvute being the main one, Chingoka had been there for a while already and was not that bad a guy IMO, who did not have the best of intentions of the game at heart and it was turned into a white vs black thing which it was not. Ultimately cricket and the fans have been the main losers and a lot of hard work will have to take place to sort this mess.

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 19:18 GMT


    The Mugabe regime has been in place for decades though, hasn't it? I recall that Zimbabwe had a decent team in the 90s/early 2000s and I'm pretty sure he was still the president then. I don't know the situation in Zimbabwe cricket or what influence Mugabe has over it, but it seems that it only deteriorated in the last 10 years or so.

  • mark on February 1, 2014, 0:28 GMT

    Zimbabwean cricket was progressing until the Mugabe regime. Kinda tells you something.

  • Graham on January 31, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    The players had every right to not play under ZC during this time, and displayed an intelligent attitude to the problem, it takes a very weak and cold proprietor to deprive his staff of their wages , affecting families, children etc. Good luck to the players, one does however suspect that the funding will last a short time and this will re-visited within a year.

  • ZCF on January 31, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    A prolonged strike wasn't a sensible approach from the players, as this only served to set them back individually. Securing funds/loans was always only going to be possible after the ICC meeting which was scheduled for this year, much later than they started boycotting matches. Those funds would've been secured whether or not they went on strike. Furthermore, considering a sponsor came through while they were not playing, this adds further weight that - active or inactive - they lack sufficient quality to be of any significance to sponsors' decision-making.

    All of which begs the question - why go through it all? Perhaps ignorantly they might nurse their egos that it was their actions which forced these inflow$ but none of that is true. The current contracts originally offered to them will remain the same. Instead with money, they've invited even greater pressure on themselves to perform domestically, and in the upcoming tours & World Cups. Particularly now against Associates. Silly!

  • Eugene on January 31, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    A bit late now, the damage has been done. Matches against SA, SL, and Afghanistan have all been lost because of ZC's chronic incompetency.

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