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Zimbabwe face first-class boycott by statisticans

Zimbabwe Cricket is still frantically trying to put together scorecards for the Logan Cup, more than two months after the end of the first-class competition. As things stand, they face having many matches removed from the record books.

A number of scorecards for the matches played in April and May are yet to be found. The bulk of those which have been provided came from Cricket Kenya as a Kenya Select side took part in the competition.

The missing information is despite the fact ZC had reporters equipped with laptops at most of the matches, while provincial general managers were also required to submit end-of-day cards where the ZC reporters were not present. This they almost certainly did as the Herald and, intermittently, the ZC website carried daily reports with potted scores.

The situation gas not been helped by confusion within ZC over who is really responsible for collating the cards between the amply-staffed Lovemore Banda's media department and Christian Chiketa's operations department. The scorecards were sent to both but neither appear to have them.

Cricinfo has been told that Banda was present during the match between Westerns and Kenya Select played at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo but this is one of the games whose card is missing.

Banda and Chiketa are reported to have phoned scorers and general managers in the respective provinces, and some have sent even original copies of the scorecards but these too have disappeared.

Remarkably, the uncommunicative ZC media department, which has relocated to another office after moving from the Harare Sports Club and Highlands offices, has produced player statistics for the Logan Cup. The stats were given to the national selection panel to guide to help in picking a Zimbabwe Select squad to play against India A in two four-day matches and a Zimbabwe A squad to tour South Africa.

What remains unclear is how they produced the statistics without the scorecards and how credible the information used by the national selectors was.

ZC has failed to make available many scorecards for the Logan Cup, or any from the Faithwear Cup, the country's one-day tournament, to the international media.

It is thought that both could be stripped of first-class status if the cards are not provided by ZC. Both Cricinfo and the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians have been unable to gain any response from ZC, and even the ICC has failed to obtain satisfactory answers despite raising the issue as long ago as April 3.

If the matches are not recognised then some personal bests will be expunged from the record books. Keith Dabengwa was the pick of the bowlers with 33 wickets in the five matches, including 7 for 1, while Graeme Cremer smashed a career-best 171 in one match - his previous best was 26 not out.