Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
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Zimbabwe Cricket has given a lifeline by the ICC, whose board "agreed a package of measures" that will allow ZC to pay its debt while still receiving funding "on a controlled basis". The ICC has also offered to work with ZC "to develop a plan for managing its cricketing, management and financial structures which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis".
The decision came at the ICC's annual conference in Dublin where ESPNcricinfo understands Zimbabwe were at risk of suspension unless they were able to provide proof of reduced or restructured debt. ZC, through working with the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation, has been able to renegotiate its debt, which totalled around USD 18 million, and will be able to service this debt even though it will not receive its scheduled July payout from the ICC.
Instead, a plan of action will be put together to ensure ZC is drip-fed funding via a more regulated process to ensure it can meet its committments in paying staff and players - who are owed two months' salaries - as quickly as possible. Already, players have received the match fees they were owed from their tour to Sri Lanka last July/August, and all outstanding salaries are expected to be paid by the end of this month.
As a result of these collective actions, ZC was deemed to have complied with a number of conditions set by the ICC, which has committed to assisting ZC in getting back on its feet.
"I am satisfied we have mapped out a way forward to enable Zimbabwe Cricket to get back on track," Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, said. "It will require significant change to their financial, managerial and cricketing operations, along with support from the ICC, but we saw the latent potential of cricket at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and this gives us the opportunity to build on that."
All this takes place as Zimbabwe take the field without five big-name players in the ongoing T20 triangular series against Australia and Pakistan, and while the organisation is without a Managing Director. Former captains Brendan Taylor and Graeme Cremer, allrounders Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams, and senior batsman Craig Ervine all opted to sit out the matches after the non-payment of the monies owed to them while Faisal Hasnain, who left the organisation at the end of April, has not been replaced. ZC have appointed Vince van der Bijl, the former ICC umpires and referees manager, as a consultant on a short-term basis.
Player representative Gerald Mlotchwa has yet to respond to a request for comment.