ZC, cricketers in fresh impasse

HARARE – Zimbabwe cricket players have gone on strike once again only a few days before the start of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.The tournament is set to start on March 16 and this latest standoff threatens to derail Zimbabwe's departure for the tournament.

The players are demanding a 25% share of the revenue from the tournament reserved a for a salary fund, a proposal rejected by the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board.

Players’ representative Eliah Zvimba said in a statement:  “It is shocking and highly unacceptable that ZC has been failing to pay players and staff when they have been getting such huge amounts from ICC and worse still getting into such unbelievable debts when real development of the game is in a sad state and naturally dying.

“We will continue to lobby for what belongs to players and we cannot allow a situation where players keep deprived and reduced to beggars due to ZC’s insincerity, bad governance and imprudent business practices which saw them in a pool of debts.”

The Zimbabwean team is scheduled to leave for Bangladesh on Wednesday, but members of the 15-man squad have declined to sign tournament contracts until their condition is met. 

ZC, however, refused to give in to the players’ demands.

“ZC said it made the offer against the background that revenue from ICC events is meant to sustain ZC from one four-year cycle to the next.

“ZC also pointed out that following the deadlock during the February 14 negotiations, the matter should go for arbitration, as previously agreed. In response, the ZPCA rejected arbitration.

“ZC pointed out that Zimbabwe’s participation at the ICC WT20 tournament was in terms of the current contracts between the ZC and the players and that with ZC having paid the players all that it owed them, if their action led to ZC breaching its obligation with the ICC to play in the tournament, the players would be liable for the breach and ZC would claim from them any damages occasioned by their conduct.”

The association is set to get $8.9 million from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for taking part in the Bangladesh showpiece.

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