Tatenda Taibu is one of just three players who have been offered national contracts © AFP
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has said that it will introduce performance-based contracts for the national players from the 2005-06 season.

National contracts have been offered only to Tatenda Taibu, Heath Streak and Andy Blignaut while 27 other players have been given level-one contracts. Their upgradation to national contracts will depend on the quality of their performances.

Junior players in the national team were receiving up to Zim$150 million (US$6400) a year excluding match fees while seniors were bagging on average Zim$300 million (US$12,800) per annum. The salaries including match fees and allowances came to Zim$250 million (US$10,600) for juniors and Zim$600 million (US$25,500) for seniors.

"We can't allow the rot to continue. We are shortchanging our partners as well as losing fans, and this can't continue," a ZC director told the Zimbabwe-based Independent newspaper. "It had become a one-sided relationship with the players getting full salaries but giving nothing in return."

The contracted players will receive a monthly retainer and also earn additional bonuses from an incentive system which is based on the quality of the player's performances. Only 15 players will be given cars out of the 30 who had been until now. "We will give only 15 players cars on the basis of seniority and performance. But all of them will get basic fees. If they want more, they will have to perform," ZC human resources manager Wilfred Mukondiwa said. "We want to make selection more competitive so that players can deliver."

Eight young players will also be offered cadetships based on the potential shown. They will be attached to companies on the basis that they will be allowed to tour if selected.