Zim Cricket saga: Whose interests are being served?

HARARE - When a relationship has broken down so bad as in the case between Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and followers of the game here, spurning an offer that could have so rapidly overturned the fortunes of the sport becomes the final nail in that relationship.

It is now well-known to the cricket-loving public, much to the disgust of the fraternity, that Zimbabwe Cricket has rejected a bailout plan from the International Cricket Council (ICC) which would have surely solved the association’s financial woes, an insolvency situation that has brought their beloved game to the brink of collapse.

The reaction in the community has indeed been of utter disgust and despair, as has often been the case for years under this ZC management.

Under the ICC proposal, the management of the game in the country would be sub-contracted, for a period of three years with immediate effect, to an Administrator with experience both in the business world and cricket.

The current ZC board, during the three-year curatorship period, would cease to exist – with the administrator appointing a chief executive and finance executive.

In turn, ICC would avail a $16 million bailout, with $10.8 of that amount going towards payment of ZC’s debts with two local banks.

$450 000 per month as running costs would then be released for the next three years.

What a dignified exit that was going to be for a board under whose watch the game has lurched from one crisis to another, from one fiscal cliff to the next.

The utter incompetence of this administration is common knowledge by now and ICC, with that in mind, have made an offer in the best interest of cricket in Zimbabwe but unfortunately a clique has decided for everyone that they don’t want the situation to change.

ICC made an offer with the knowledge that the current ZC administration has no capacity to resuscitate the game.

If there was already mistrust and suspicion towards ZC, the decision to spurn ICC’s offer has only heightened it.

Much of this suspicion now emanates from the fact being a ZC board member is not a career. Why would a board, with one or two men who knows the side of the bat used to play cricket, a board which has miserably failed to overturn the fortunes of the, game spurn an opportunity to not only put the game in the hands of the right people, but financial injection?

Is there something we are missing?  

You ought to be worried about the decisions of a board so devoid of cricket knowledge, especially if those decisions have far-reaching bearing on a game so loved by many.

The current ZC board has no moral ground to make decisions that will affect generations.

Board members are merely custodians of the game. The real owners of the game are the different stakeholders – the players, coaches, clubs, sponsors, staff, groundsmen. These are the men and women who should have passed judgement on the ICC offer.

It is pathetic that they were never consulted.

The ZC constitution allows for a consultative forum and faced with such an offer, the board should have let the stakeholders decide what they want instead of making a decision that serves the interests of a few individuals.

Whether ICC was making the offer in bad faith or ZC rejected the offer in good faith was not for an interested part to judge. 

The different stakeholders would have most likely embraced the bailout plan. Perhaps they would have told the ICC that they still have confidence in the board and management. At least such decision would have the buy-in of the ICC.

ZC has shown serious lack of foresight. The revenue from the ICC World Twenty20 is coming and obviously there is some excitement generated, but at the end of the cycle we will be back to one.

The lifeline of cricket in this country is the Future Tours Programme (FTP). At the end of the current cycle of World Cups, and at this rate we are going as a renegade full member of the ICC, Zimbabwe’s overreliance on India as our only resolute backer will spell doom. We will be left isolated again.

And what of this race card that continues to be waved every time it seems suitable to do so? It’s clear to all and sundry that it is not based on principles of any kind.

Isn’t it the same board which as qualms with Dave Ellman-Brown the same board which has recently brought him back as honourary life vice-president of the organisation?

Isn’t it the same board which has made very unpopular decisions in the black cricketing community?

And isn’t it mostly the same black people who have been clamouring for change at ZC?

The ICC has made an offer and naturally names like Ellman-Brown’s will always be thrown around among those who have business acumen and cricket experience. 

But what is deliberately not being said obviously to suit an agenda is that there are also several black people, quipped with administrative skill and cricket brains, who are capable of running cricket in this country; Qhubekani Nkala, Themba Mkosana, Blessing Ngondo to mention but a few. These are men more than capable of resuscitating the sport.

A golden opportunity has been lost, but to whose benefit really?

Comments (4)

reminds me of zabg, the executives were tasked with looking for investors and if a potential one came and threatened their continued stay, would deem them unsuitable!!

arth - 25 April 2014

This really shows that chingoka and gang have intrests in the system why refusing such a fair deal and continue wanting to kill the game and abusing the funds i mean tel mi zimbabweans these guyz are firing the the likes of the coaches,groundsmen which are guyz that mean cricket and leaving so many adminstrators as if they are the ones who coaches the kids and preparing the grounds for it to be called there is cricket in zimbabwe take it for example in education u fire a teacher and remain with caretakers and so on to teach is that practical guyz, this should jus stop cricket here in zim does not belong to any family man,povo yaramba

Mubandit - 25 April 2014

Dave and Q Nkala would make a great team with support across the racial divide, Having worked with both of them in previous cricket administrations I have great respect for both of them, although Dave would have to brush off a few cobwebs. Oh how Zimbabwe Cricket administration needs this sort of thinking. Peter Chingoka for once, be a man, admit your administration is a failure and move on for the sake of cricket.

Tim Savory - 26 April 2014

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.