ZC commits to FTP programme

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) managing director, Wilfred Mukondiwa reiterated the association’s commitment to fulfilling ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) fixtures despite going through a difficult financial phase.

Zimbabwe will host India in five One Day Internationals in Harare and Bulawayo beginning on the 24th of this month at Harare Sports Club.

ZC has not been spared by the harsh economic environment currently being experienced across every sector and are hopeful that the visit by India, one of the top cash cows in international cricket will boost their coffers.

“The India tour is going on, that shows our commitment and our efforts to make sure that we facilitate cricket, regardless of the situation, we will run around,” Mukondiwa told the Daily News.

“Bangladesh came here and we hosted them, that’s testimony to that, Australia A and India coming, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will come after.

“We will fulfil all our fixtures thus we will prepare a stage for our players who are the actors to act because our business is to ensure that the theatre is ready.”

Mukondiwa said India’s visit alone will not be enough to take ZC out of the financial doldrums they are currently in.

“It’s always a welcome inflow but money is never enough. Right now we have got commitments and obviously we have to satisfy those commitments but yes India will go a long way to alleviate the situation,” Mukondiwa added.

ZC communications manager, Lovemore Banda said: “But our problem is that we don’t have enough of the India tours because as you know England doesn’t come which would have been another money earner.

“India doesn’t come here often; Australia hasn’t been here, the other money earner, so outside those three the rest are losses.”

Turning to the squad, Mukondiwa rallied behind the new coach Andy Waller and his charges urging them to give India a good run for their money by being competitive at all cost.

“We are looking forward to it (India), we are just praying that the players keep the momentum they showed against Bangladesh plus the intensity of their current preparations so that the series against India will be a competitive one,” said Mukondiwa.

“We are cognisant of the fact that India are the number one champions in the ODI format. They have just won the Champions Trophy but our youngsters should not be intimidated by that.

“Instead the underdog tag should actually spur them to take the big guys on, that’s all we want; they have to be competitive.”

“If they lose they must lose respectfully, the West Indies’ performance was dismal, against Bangladesh there was a lot of improvement and I’m sure they will put up a good show.”

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