Zimbabwe Test cricketers have engaged a British lawyer, Tim O'Gorman, to
represent them in pressing for a huge pay hike.
The local cricketers hired O'Gorman to handle their grievances with the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union a few days after arriving in London from their
disastrous tour of the West Indies three weeks ago.
The British lawyer has already won the first part of the battle by
reportedly securing a 20 percent across the board pay rise from the mother
O'Gorman met with the ZCU president Peter Chingoka, chief executive Dave
Ellman-Brown and Alwyn Pichanick, a ZCU life president, in London two weeks
ago at which an agreement to offer the players a 20 percent rise was agreed
pending further negotiations.
Andy Flower's men had demanded an immediate 90 percent pay hike ahead of
their first of two Test series against England which they, however,
comprehensively lost by an innings and 209 runs.
The "crisis" talks between O'Gorman and the ZCU delegation helped to avert
a looming boycott of Zimbabwe's maiden Test against England at Lord's.
But according to sources close to the team, a furthar increase is in store
for the cricketers as O'Gorman and the ZCU are still locked in furthar
discussions over the players' demands, which have been pegged at a massive
400 percent to match their British counterparts.
"The ZCU hastily offered the players an immediate 20 percent rise to save
the Lord's Test from a threatened boycott otherwise the players' demands
still stand and negotiations should resume after the current tour.
"The ZCU would obviously want people back home to believe that the pay
dispute has been resolved, but the se-called amicable agreement is only
temporary," said the source.
The sources said the involvement of off-spinner Andy Whittall, who is not a
member of the touring party but in London to represent the players, showed
that the matter had not been resolved as the Zimbabwe Cricket Union are
Whittall, the sources said, has been one of the most vocal Zimbabwean
cricketers on the issue of remuneration and at one point opted out of the
ZCU contract after being left out of the West Indies and England tours.
"Whittall pulled out of the Zimbabwe A team, to which he had been appointed
captain, for the Sri Lanka tour, citing his mother's illness but ironically
went to Australia on holiday a few days before the team left for Sri Lanka.
"He then flew straight to England in time for talks between the ZCU and the
players and he is now commentating for British pay television station Sky
Whittall expected to have been in the squad for the England tour but looked
for excuses to pull out when he was not included in the party" said the
Peter Chingoka, ZCU president, released details of negotiations with the
players in England that at one stage may have jeopardised the tour.
Responding to Press reports about the dispute, Chingoka admitted in a
statement form London where he was watching the England and Zimbabwe Test
that there had been a series of negotiations with the cricketers in the pay
"The players demanded an immediate increase in remuneration three weeks
ago, failing which they had threatened to abort the tour" said Chingoka in
An agreement was rapidly reached and a committee to deal with the issue of
remuneration comprising a ZCU representative, players' representative
Whittall and an independent chairman was set up.
Chingoka said as a "gesture of goodwill", the ZCU had resolved to increase
the match fees in the interim and although players were already bound by an
existing contract, the union had agreed to review and re-negotiate the
issue of compensation.