Zimbabwe news March 1, 2014

Zimbabwe players demand salary guarantee

The Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association (ZPCA) has asked that the board set aside 25% of its revenue from participating in the World Twenty20 to guarantee the players' salaries over the next 12 months. The players have also rejected Zimbabwe Cricket's offer of arbitration on the issue.

While the cricketers have not gone on strike again, they issued a demand that the problem of payments be resolved quickly and requested a discussion with ZC in Bulawayo on Monday.

Both ZC and ZPCA agreed the money earned by board from the World T20 and will amount to US$8.9 million, of which the players demanded US$2.225 million for salaries over the next year. The ZPCA said it was "shocking and highly unacceptable that ZC has been failing to pay players and staff when they have been getting such huge amounts from ICC".

ZC's offer was that each player participating in the World Twenty20 would receive US $11,500 and could earn bonuses of US $2700 per player if they won matches in the second round. The board made no mention of future payments but recommended a memorandum of understanding by end of May, when ZC would be negotiate with players for next season's contracts.

The players rejected the board's offer of arbitration because they felt "ZC still has an obligation to convince us that they are still capable of being the custodians of the game of cricket in Zimbabwe and players salaries in particular". ZC had offered three arbitrators, including former board president Alwyn Pichanick and former managing director Don Arnott, but the players said they "were not privy to how they chose these arbitrators and we questioned their impartiality".

They insisted on following internal procedures first and would only go to arbitration if a judicial commission appoints the arbitrators. The players made their statement only after ZC had issued one in which it said the ZPCA had reneged on a previous agreement to go to arbitration if meetings between the two bodies were deadlocked.

"ZPCA is not engaged in any industrial action. Franchise games are underway country wide and the national team is in camp in preparation," the ZPCA said in a statement. "ZPCA advised ZC that this matter must be attended to as early as possible and accorded the seriousness it deserves, otherwise we will not participate in any ZC organised event."

ZC said it may have a claim on the players should a boycott be reinstated. The board's statement said: "Zimbabwe's participation at the ICC WT20 tournament was in terms of the current contracts between the ZC and the players and, that with ZC having paid the players all that it owed them, if their action led to ZC breaching its obligation with the ICC to play in the tournament, the players would be liable for the breach and ZC would claim from them any damages occasioned by their conduct."

The situation is presently deadlocked because ZC wanted to hold Monday's meeting in Harare, where they say all their documents are. The ZPCA wanted the discussions to take place in Bulawayo and asked ZC to courier their documents to the city.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Farai on March 3, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    "ZC has no obligation to convince anyone of anything". Yes they do. Plus the strike was not only the top players. it was everyone. @ZCFOutkast There's no other batch to groom. All the players are frustrated and angry. They all were on strike. That's why a union was formed

  • Graham on March 1, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST you deplore the union concept !!! Zimbabwe was a union free environment until recent times. The introduction of workers unions only recently became necessary...introduced under the faith in Eastern block politics displayed by ZANU PF ...funny how things come around and bite.....

  • Graham on March 1, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    It is all over ...the pack have closed in the hierarchy of world cricket has changed in a way that promotion and relegation to the top tier is now a real opportunity, those cricket nations with well run administration and harmony between the board, players and critical staff will now realize their dream. As for Zimbabwe they will have to oblige and play these aspiring nations, thereby assisting their own downfall even further than they are currently doing..... ZC what have you done?

  • Barry on March 1, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    Why the belligerence all the time. Be positive for once.

  • ZCF on March 1, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    There is nowhere where unions control salary payments or a fund for that purpose. As far as instructing ZC to go to Bulawayo for a meeting, that's ludicrous. ZPCA and its members should have declined selection for the world cup, negotiated their way out of the current contracts and continued with their lives instead of being a nuisance. What this report neglects to mention is that ZC has requested a register of players whose interests they represent, but the union has been stalling. Get your act together. Eliah their representative is a puppet who doesn't know what he is doing.

    Like any other cricket board, ZC has no obligation to convince anyone of anything. On the contrary, this union has an obligation to make it's own investigations and audits, then issue a report of their findings. They have done neither. The players also have an obligation to prove that they are still willing to perform on the field of play, or else ZC should start promoting another group for the 2015 WC.

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