ZC turns down SA Test offer

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), reeling under a crippling player strike, has turned down a request by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to play a one-off Test match before the ICC World Twenty20 scheduled for Bangladesh in March.

ZC is scheduled to host South Africa for two Test matches, three One Day Internationals and a T20 between July and August, but the South African has made an offer to have one of the Tests moved forward.

CSA wanted to use the match as preparations for their upcoming home series against Australia beginning on February 12.

ZC spokesperson Lovemore Banda, however, said engaging South Africa in a Test match at a time the team needs to prepare for the up-coming World T20 is not ideal.

“Somewhere towards August, Zimbabwe will host South Africa for a tour that include two Tests, three ODIs and one T20,” Banda told the Daily News.

“South Africa has requested to have one of these Test matches moved forward but unfortunately we are unable to accept the offer. This is a Test match and we felt it is not in the best interest of the preparations for the World T20 so we’ll leave it as it is on the Future Tours Programme.”

Meanwhile, ZC chairman Peter Chingoka and managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa yesterday left for the two-day ICC executive board meeting that gets underway this morning in Dubai.

Chingoka has remained mum on the association’s position regarding the proposed draft that seeks to empower the three big cricketing nations – India, Australia and England at the expense of others.

It is, however, Cricket South Africa who have openly criticised the move, describing it as “fundamentally flawed and in breach of the ICC constitution.”

Banda said: “The matter is set to be discussed in a meeting and we don’t feel it’s proper to pre-empty our position but would rather discuss this issue in a meeting; we will speak in the meeting and we will be listened to in a meeting.”

The Federation of International Cricketer’s Association (Fica) has also raised concerns over the proposal, saying that it can only make the weaker nations weaker while further enriching the cricket powerhouses.

"The proposals relating to scheduling are disturbing. The reassurance to the boards outside the 'Big Three' that they are guaranteed to earn more in the next rights cycle than they have in the current one ignores the fact they are almost certain to lose more money from a re-shaped Future Tours Programme (FTP) than they will gain from ICC distributions, when the 'Big Three' inevitably pick and choose who, when and where they will play,” Fica said.

"The result of this is that the gap between the 'Big Three' and the rest will get bigger and bigger, which will undermine the competitiveness of future ICC events and therefore the value of rights in future cycles. This will affect everyone and it cannot possibly be in the interests of international cricket nor of the health and sustainability of the world game of which the ICC is supposed to be the custodian.”

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