Zim Cricket gives in to Players' demands

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) yesterday moved in to avert a potential crisis by offering five-month contracts to 11 players ahead of this month’s Bangladesh home series to end a four-day impasse.

The non-contracted players downed their tools last Friday and were threatening to boycott the Bangladesh series leaving Zimbabwe interim coach Steve Mangongo with only a skeleton squad of 10 contracted players.

The non-contracted players however trooped back into camp yesterday afternoon having spent the greater part of the day locked up in meetings with ZC officials.

They were offered five-month long winter contracts that will run until August 31 when they go back to their franchises.

Mangongo, who will take charge of the team in the two Tests against the Tigers to be played at Harare Sports Club beginning on April 17, took the returning cricketers through their paces in a net session yesterday.

“It’s now back to serious business, the players were locked up in meetings in the morning and only showed up in the afternoon,” Mangongo told the Daily News yesterday.

“I’m a man who doesn’t listen to take excuses from any player because everyone has got a job to do and I expect them to execute their duties properly on the field of play.”

Meanwhile, the squad has been trimmed to 21 from the 28 that were called in camp to prepare for the Bangladesh series.

National team all-rounder Chamu Chibhabha played in the last tour of the Caribbean was axed from the new squad.

Other players that were dropped include Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tawanda Mupariwa, Ed Rainsford, Richard Muzhange, Brian Chari and Charles Coventry.

The hard-hitting Matabeleland Tuskers batsman Coventry never showed up for the camp since his call- up for the Bangladesh series.

“After all the issues and everything that took place, ZC and the selectors decided to trim the squad to 21,” Mangongo added.

“I forwarded my input to the convener of selectors and I’m happy with the squad, come Bangladesh we just want to execute our skills and be able to get our process right particularly in the batting department where we want our top order to assume full responsibility.”

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