No solution in sight

HARARE - The latest impasse in Zimbabwe Cricket continued yesterday after domestic matches were cancelled due to a continued player boycott.

Zimbabwean cricketers last week resorted to industrial action due non-payment of salaries and match fees, stretching g overs several months.

In honouring their threats, senior players boycotted domestic limited overs matches on Sunday. Second string members of the squads fulfilled fixtures for their franchises.

The second-string sides were again expected to turn up yesterday, but the players made a sudden U-turn before the toss and decided not to play.

Midwest Rhinos were billed to take on Southern Rocks in Masvingo, but both sets of players agreed to abandon the match in protest.

In Mutare, Mashonaland Eagles’ second-string side travelled to Manicaland but on the last minute the players decided against taking to the field against an equally reluctant Mountaineers, the home side.

The on-going payment dispute began last week after the franchises’ senior players petitioned Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to pay them their outstanding dues. However, after ZC failed to meet the Monday deadline set by the players to deposit the money into their accounts, players decided to go ahead with the boycott. 

“Our position is clear, pay us or we continue with the boycott and one thing we are very happy about as players is that we have never been this united, and if ZC sees it fit to expel the whole group, so be it, but still they will have to pay us off before doing so,” one senior player said.

Mashonaland Eagles coach Steve Mangongo, who is also the national team assistant coach, said he hopes the situation returns to normal in order to give players game time ahead of the ICC World Twenty20, set for for Bangladesh in March.

“It’s very sad all we can do as coaches is to train the players and when you do so you expect them to play and be competitive,”Mangongo told the Daily News yesterday.

“The players have made their stance and we just hope that the powers that be may treat this matter with urgency because for some of us who wears two hats there’s really too little time left before the World T20 and you can’t coach the players game time but it’s something they acquire through playing constantly.”

On Monday, ZC said in a statement that the association was committed to paying players beginning in November, while they engage their financial institution over any balances.

“Given the progress ZC had made then to get the money, the expectation was that the players’ salaries would be deposited into their accounts tomorrow (Tuesday the 17th of December, 2013) and the players were informed accordingly,” read the statement.

“Against that background, management went into the weekend expecting that the players would turn out for their matches. Because we remain in discussion with financial institutions over the player salaries, we are unable to actually provide guarantees of specific dates except expectations – which expected dates may not be met if negotiations take longer. Our position therefore, which we have communicated to the players, is that we remain committed to paying their November salaries at the earliest possible time, and the rest of what is owed them when our financial position improves.”

Meanwhile, international media reports claim Zimbabwe Cricket has asked the ICC for an additional loan of US$3 million but an insider said the ICC may only agree to that if ZC provided an audit of the funds they received from the Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme earlier this year. Some of that money is believed to have been used to pay match fees for the Pakistan series this year, over which the Zimbabwe players threatened to strike.

Comments (1)

In used to love this sport and admire the level of professionalism exhibited on and off the pitch. Now all i see is that it was not the Chinkgokas who made a success of both cricket and tennis, but there were people behind the scene who made these sports a success. Now that these have left, the bogus administrators have been left to their own devicies. Another ZBC in the making. Cry my beloved game. It was really an oasis in the desert but now it have been consumed by the desert conditions you find everywhere in all the other sports administrations.

Seeing is believing - Ashamed - 19 December 2013

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