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Zimbabwe players extend boycott

Firdose Moonda

February 10, 2014

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Zimbabwe franchise players stay on strike, Harare, February 10, 2014
Zimbabwe players on strike at the Harare Sports Club © AFP
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Zimbabwe's domestic twenty-over competition has been postponed after the players refused to end their strike over non-payment. The tournament was due to start today and run until Saturday but salaries have still not been paid. The players held a meeting at Harare Sports Club this morning and decided their boycott would continue.

An insider revealed ZC informed the players it did not have the cash it needed to pay the salaries. Yesterday, there was talk that although money would not be transferred on Monday, it would "definitely" happen on Tuesday, according to one source.

ZC has also asked the ICC for a loan to compensate the players, support staff and conduct matches, even though their debt has swollen to US$18 million. Now, it appears ZC is still awaiting confirmation of its ICC loan and has been dealt a further blow by potential sponsors. Lays, who were thought to be offering a deal of around US$700,000, are close to pulling out.

On Sunday night, Zimbabwe players' representative Eliah Zvimba had a teleconference with ZC managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa and the ICC chief financial officer. "The ICC official assured the players' representative that the world cricket governing body would, early this week, honour its promise to send the money," a ZC press release said.

"Regrettably, the players refused to take to the field this morning for the resumption of the domestic season, which was to start with a twenty20 tournament that is also part of Zimbabwe's preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, which will be in Bangladesh starting next month.

"The players said they will only play when they have been paid."

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.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by wapuser on (February 13, 2014, 11:48 GMT)

I wish Zc all the best and hope to see us doing better soon. But my heart really goes out to players and cricket in Zimbabwe . We chose a CAREER not some fun game. I just hope when guys careers are over it all works out.

Posted by MeijiMura on (February 13, 2014, 3:35 GMT)

Chappie, I really enjoyed watching you bat. Your batting was the major reason I watched so much of the Zimbabwean Cricket I did and the highlight for me was the 194* not out you made against Bangladesh. What happened afterwards regarding your treatment by the powers that be in Zimbabwean Cricket was shameful. I also thought you were very much hard done by in the World Cup. You should have been treated so much better. Zimbabwean Cricket has certainly been much poorer without you. In any case when I saw your name and your post it brought back happy memories for me. Memories of better times are all we have of Zimbabwean Cricket now. It is finished. I hope you are enjoying your life now and that you are in the best of health. May you enjoy a long life full of happiness and appreciation for whatever you do in the future.You deserve it for everything you've had to put up with so unjustly.

Posted by grahaam on (February 11, 2014, 18:46 GMT)

@ZCFoutkast. I talk of cricket administration only ..not colonial days gone by ...also you suggest I am of a callous mind to mention Cricket in that land prior to Independence? Without that cricketing past we would not be discussing this topic....Talking of callous, that's a fair term to use for those who fail to pay wages , affecting families, children etc and expecting people to continue working whilst unpaid, You are now totally isolated and a lone supporter of ZC. ... which implies you have little regard for cricket in Zimbabwe, but indicating support for the board members as individuals, of course Chingoka, Bvute et al draw less than their counterparts in other boards...this is based on the product they deliver, which now amounts to nothing!

Posted by   on (February 11, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

Just thinking.......if the company I work for were to ask me to continue working without being paid, just for the love of the work I do, would I do it? Food for thought

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 11, 2014, 6:05 GMT)

The IPL auction is coming and I feel some of the teams should pick Zimbabwean players and pay them decently so that we can end this embarrassing fiasco. Cricket is already suffering in Zimbabwe and the last thing a useless ICC needs is one less country playing cricket. Is there some way SA could help ZIM in this regard ?

Posted by Julian_Vella on (February 11, 2014, 2:39 GMT)

@ Choppa well put mate good luck for the future hopefully things change and we can see you in Zimbo colours again .....

@ZCFOUTCAST once again biased opinions and out of touch, the players role/responsibilities are to play cricket and to be played for doing so. The admin which is ZC are supposed to run the game and find ways to support it financially so the players can be paid, the fact ZC are broke and can't find any sponsors is their fault because it's their responsibility to handle these things. If Australia and England wont tour its up to the admin to seek compensation from the ICC for this or to seek more sponsorship. If these guys running the game cant cope handle these responsibilities then they should stand down instead of running the game into the ground which they have done for the last 10 years .....

"If anything, ZC should be applauded for keeping the game alive for this long."

Hahaha what a joke you can't be serious .....

Posted by RntyZFCoutkast on (February 10, 2014, 23:38 GMT)

At this rate we are going to be the first team to be relegated (new ICC rules) and we are go be stuck there for good or till ZC gets real! Once folks like Ireland and Afghan gets their teeth on the cherry, they aint going to let go. Their admins are clearly for cricket.

@ Grahaam, nuff said, true to the fact.

Posted by IainWadey on (February 10, 2014, 21:06 GMT)

This could be the beginning of the end for cricket in Zimbabwe. Its only hope is that enough volunteers stoicly continue to keep the game alive at the grassroots level while the upper echelons of the game go bankrupt. Across a political and economic context on the precipice it must be difficult to secure basics for running the game; fuel, imported equipment etc. However, the costs(inc. labour) would also be much lower (political embezzlement?). Perhaps it would be best for ZC to reach rock bottom. One silver lining of the ICC restructure is that India will not have to court the Zimbabwe vote at the board meetings. Perhaps we will finally see the KPMG report or a new forensic audit.

Posted by grahaam on (February 10, 2014, 17:29 GMT)

@ZCF You talk of understanding sport management etc , it is just Waffle , England and Australia are far too strong an opposition for Zim now, blaming them for not coming is ludicrous ..ZC should be applauded for keeping the game alive for this long!!!! what 10-12 years !!! wow thats incredible!!! the previous regime and those before it kept the game going for over 100 years...its the same soil and the same land...the only difference is those running it....ZC move on now

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (February 10, 2014, 14:56 GMT)

@Choppa, you can only put players ahead when you have money. ZC doesn't have money. Zero! Plus no revenue stream. If you understood economics&sports management then that realisation wouldn't have been beyond you boet! How on earth do you think you were being paid all this time before you came to you suddenly cam eto your decision to bail out? Wasn't it financed through debt? If Aus&Eng had toured ZIM as often as they should have, don't you think ZC would've paid off the debt by now?

If anything, ZC should be applauded for keeping the game alive for this long. When all you players have retired and been paid up out of debt, it will be the new generation who are struggling because ZC are and will be struggling. At least some of you have had your joys at recording multiple ducks&wicketless bowling innings throughout the world in mostly underwhelming&embarassing returns despite multiple chances. What of Jongwe, Chisoko, Kasuza, Chari etc?

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

I hope this can all come to an end soon and start seeing our boys play again. This is probably the most frustrating things for players as just like anyone else on earthwe are trying to make an hhonest living . Unfortunately it will come a time and very soon where players will have to move on as I have done. Sad times. Come on zc start waking up. We all wanna play and do well and do zim proud. For once put players first and start treating them like u should. U r only as strong as your weakest link. And this time its not the players.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 14:24 GMT)

Really sad for cricket , don't know where is their future cricket heading , hopefully they don't become lyk kenya

Posted by Anti_ZCFOutkast on (February 10, 2014, 13:26 GMT)

Typical. Even ZANU-PF laughed at ZC's claims of racism, Chingoka has truly lost the support and belief of everyone.

Also, the reason the Afghanistan and SL tours were cancelled was not because of ICC politics, they were cancelled because ZC had no money. SL and Afghanistan wanted to tour but ZC's incompetence made that impossible.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (February 10, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

At least the unbiased like you two guys can afford to feel genuinely sad, unlike some who feign it while happily slighting ZC as a norm! Those are the very guys who toast to such setbacks as a form of therapy and "moral victory" through all these negative developments, following the original well placed policies which serve the very boys striking to their detriment today.

The same fellows probably got to Lay's(not that they needed much incentive). These are the very elements Peter Chingoka referred to as working behind the scenes to undermine progress in Zimbabwe cricket to the parliamentary committee on sports last week. Very sad indeed! Anyway, the ICC loan will clear soon so hopefully that should be sufficient to last enough to give ZC time to find funds elsewhere.

As a positive the recent ICC resolutions make provisions for ensuring that no home tour will ever have to be cancelled so ZC will benefit from that heavily. The SL&AFG incidents are well and trully a thing of the past.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

As a Bangladeshi I am really sad to read this. We got lot matches with Zim in our early stages at ICC. I think it is an opportunity for SA to assist Zim and pull them side with SA to establish a strong stand in ICC political arena.

Posted by YsaKaru on (February 10, 2014, 10:25 GMT)

oh my god!!!!!!!!!!!!really unfortunate.

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