The ICC report into the state of Zimbabwe cricket highlighted that there was a "rather poor existing relationship between the board and players [past and present]" and that this matter was raised repeatedly with the fact-finding group led by West Indies board president Julian Hunte.

Between 2004 and 2007, the board repeatedly clashed with stakeholders and players. The net result was that more than two dozens cricketers turned their back on the game, and most senior regional and provincial administrators were replaced.

There were increasingly bitter disputes, and the board abolished the players' union, removing the one body who were in a position to negotiate with it. This meant that young and often inexperienced players were left to deal individually with the board, and there have been claims made that on occasions bullying tactics were used in those meetings.

The situation has improved, and several players have returned to the fold. However, the report noted that "at the time of writing, legal proceedings relating to an assault charge brought by ZC against one of its centrally contracted players were ongoing". This was a reference to the legal case being heard against Tatenda Taibu.

Many connected with Zimbabwe cricket believe that attracting many of the disaffected players back into the fold is the quickest way to rebuilding the game. But some remain disinclined to help out while some high-profile individuals remain in senior positions within Zimbabwe Cricket.

"I have offered my services to cricket if needed," one former Test player told Cricinfo."However, certain people cannot remain in power before anything positive happens."

Steven Price is a freelance journalist based in Harare