Zimbabwe Cricket has appointed four of the five chief executives for its newly-created franchises, according to a report in the Independent.

Advertising executive Hugo Ribatika has been named as CEO for Northerns, the largest franchise be based in Harare. Stanley Staddon will run Westerns, who have requested to change their name to Matabeleland Warriors. Givemore Makoni will be in charge of Southerns, and Kenyon Ziehl is boss at Centrals. The only outstanding appointment is that of the Easterns chief executive.

Makoni is the current national team manager while Ziehl is the chairman of selectors. Both have resigned those posts.

Ziehl would almost certainly have had to step down anyway following criticism by an ICC report about the lack of any cricketing pedigree among the selectors. He will be replaced by former South Africa Test player Jackie du Preez, with the panel being made up from one nominee from each franchise.

Critics remain unhappy that while the establishment of new franchises has been heralded as the start of a new, democratic era for Zimbabwe Cricket, the chief executives have all been appointed by the board from those running the existing provincial structure. That itself was formed when ZC abolished long-standing associations and forced through the appointment of individuals known to be supportive of the Chingoka regime.

"We have to see how this works out, but the worry is that this is little more than shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic," one former administrator said. "The same old faces are all here, but while the board is controlled by the elite who have been running it for so long, why should we expect miracles."

Steven Price is a freelance journalist based in Harare