Players have nothing to lose

HARARE - When the news broke that Zimbabwean cricket players decided to call off the boycott, the decision would undoubtedly have been met with mixed feelings.

The understanding is that Zimbabwe cricket met with the players, and have promised that outstanding salaries would be paid to them on February 10.

A large number of people, both locally and internationally, remain very sceptical as to whether this latest promise will actually materialise, given the fact that several promises have been made in the past, and then been broken.

Some of the hard core fans may possibly have adopted the hard stance attitude of put your money where your mouth is, and then go back to practice.

Fortunately, the players have not taken this hard stance, and have instead taken the leap of faith and have gone back to training.

This decision by the players is a decision that can only be commended, and it simply proves that all they were asking for was for their outstanding salaries to be paid; nothing more, and nothing less.

Despite the previously reneged promises by ZC, the players have once again put their trust in Zimbabwe Cricket, and gone back to work.

Of course, there are some who have been against the boycott from the outset, asking how the players could possibly have the audacity to strike and demand more money when they weren't delivering winning results on the field.

Every person has a right to offer an opinion, but the difference, and there is a major difference in this case, and that is that the players weren't demanding more money, they simply exercised their human right to be paid after doing their job.

There are many who will say that ZC have got away with being a law unto themselves for far too long, and that the players have now shown the country’s governing board that they will no longer call their bluff.

And if the promise that was made to the players comes to nothing at the end of the stipulated date, they would simply down tools once again, and ZC would have a considerably harder time winning back the trust of the players.

As for Zimbabwe Cricket, one has to doff your cap to them, and give them some credit as well.

We all know that Zimbabwe cricket has been under immense financial pressure for some time, as is the case with many sporting bodies and companies throughout the country.

Many well-known companies have had to close their doors and leave hundreds and thousands of people jobless.

But despite the mounting pressure and rapidly decreasing state of affairs of a once viable and professionally run organisation, you cannot fault ZC for still keeping their heads above water, even though they have taken in huge amounts of water which has left irreparable damage to the lungs of the company.

Despite all of these damning facts, they could very easily have thrown in the towel and accepted defeat, but they ate a healthy slice of humble pie, and did the honourable thing and approached the ICC for help.

So if all goes according to plan, and the players are paid, this may in turn encourage players who have recently retired or moved on to play in other country's to consider coming back and playing for Zimbabwe.

The likes of Regis Chakabva, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Keagan Meth, Charles Coventry and more, are all vital to the success and growth of cricket in the country, and these experienced players need to be part of the game, both domestically and internationally.

Zimbabwe Cricket will understandably be somewhat hesitant to take some players back, but like the players put their trust in them, they need to show the same trust in the players.

Both parties need to start afresh for the sake of the country with the knowledge that lessons have been learnt on both sides, and refer to this unsavoury incident as water under the bridge.

*Leading Zimbabwean cricket writer and broadcaster Dean du Plessis, who was born blind, is a Daily News columnist and regular contributor to the paper.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.