Geoff Marsh has been accused of abandoning Zimbabwe's rebel players during their stand-off with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

Grant Flower, one of the senior members of the 15 rebels banned from playing by the ZCU, said that Marsh's silence during the dispute had "surprised and disappointed" them.

"To be honest, I thought he would have stood up for us and said a little more," Flower was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald. "He has sat on the fence and obviously just wants to see out his contract. He obviously has his own personal reasons.

"He told us that he had tried for two years to make changes happen but he couldn't do anything about it. I don't want to go too deeply into it. But with everything that's going on, I don't think any of us were too upset at the loss to Sri Lanka. We still want to play for Zimbabwe, but it doesn't look good."

John Dyson, in Zimbabwe as Sri Lanka's coach, echoed the sentiments regarding the depth of Zimbabwe's difficulties. "They'll have huge problems against the Australian attack," he said. "They've really struggled against us . . . we didn't even use our spinners in the last match. I've spoken to Geoff at the matches and he said to me that he's basically doing his job until the end of his contract and then leaving."

In fairness to Marsh, he is a difficult position. He is paid to coach the Zimbabwe side, and he can only work with what he is given. While the dispute has clearly affected him, he is limited in what action he can take. Were he to walk away, he would be in breach of contract, and it would make little difference to any of the unfolding events.