Zimbabwe Cricket sign their death warrant

HARARE - The recent events surrounding Zimbabwe Cricket’s (ZC) refusal to accept the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) offer to bail ZC out of the substantial debts they got themselves into, has left everybody both far and wide perplexed.

Or has it?

When the world's governing body decides to step in, and offer to not only to relieve you of your debts, but also give you an additional loan to ensure that cricket gets back on track again, you would surely think that ZC would have jumped at the opportunity, regardless of any conditions the ICC may or may not have given them.

We are talking about figures to the tune of close to $28 million, an amount that ZC despite their best efforts will never be able to salvage.

So why it is then that ZC refused such a generous offer from the ICC?

Surely they would have weighed up the options, the pros and the cons very carefully before deciding to commit suicide. Because that is exactly what they have decided to do.

Although cricket, and most professionally played sports are now perceived to be businesses, there is still, or at least should still be an element of understanding and comprehension of the game, and the consequences you will face if you mismanage and abuse the system.

Do ZC really and truly have a grasp of the terrible situation they find themselves in?

Do they not understand that they would have been able to revamp the sport's crumbling infrastructure, and quite possibly have tempted former players out of retirement, or those who had left the country to come back and once again represent their country at either playing or coaching level?

What about the future of cricket in our country?

Already we see young players deciding to throw their lot in with adopted countries, with the hope of eventually playing international cricket in a few years time.

And even if they aren't good enough to play for their newly adopted country, they will rest assured that they will be looked after and rewarded when they perform.

So, let's ask the question one more time.

Why is it that ZC slapped away the hand of friendship and help that was extended to them?

The sad but true answer to that can only be that there are some senior members who are desperately afraid of being found out.

So afraid that they would rather see a once vibrant organisation be fed to the dogs.

With the exception of the $412 000 recently paid to the players, when was the last time that players actually got to have a say or voice their opinion?

Even when coaches or selectors, who work closely with the players make suggestions, more often than not, their choices are crushed by certain members of the board with the greatest of disrespect and contempt.

It is becoming more apparent that ZC no longer care about the game, nor what happens to the players, nor the facilities.

Surely this is the time for all people who love, understand and care about the game to stand together and for once and all cut out the massive cancer which has been slowly but surely infiltrating itself into the blood system of an organisation that was once the bread basket of sport in this country.

The bailout that was so graciously offered to us, would not only have revived cricket in all areas and levels in our country, but it may possibly have created job opportunities for hundreds of people, from those who were in fear of being retrenched, to those who would have made money catering at important cricket matches.

Sponsors would once again have come on board, and looked after the interests of players, which in turn would have lightened the load of ZC, who could have focused all their attention on the actual game.

Special mention must also go to Eliah Zvimba (Principal Labour Consultant of the Zimbabwean Professional Cricketers Association), who went to great lengths to ensure the well-being of players, and remuneration of players.

The truth is that we who believe in what is right, have up to now been to afraid to actually tackle the problem that has always been brushed under the carpet, choosing to skirt around the cancer, and try to treat it with medication.

The time has come for the scalpel to be used, and for the cancer to be cut out, so that we can focus on getting cricket back on track.

So that once again we can spread the game, not only into surrounding areas and clubs such as Takashinga and Chitungwiza, but to make massive attempts to reach those in the most remote areas of our country.

All of this, or at least a great deal of this would have been possible if the bailout had been accepted, and if a knowledgeable group of people who understand both finances as well as cricket were allowed to dismantle the board in its entirety and start afresh.

Instead, we will be forced to don our funeral attire in the not too distant future. But, for now, we sit in the waiting room of the hospital, and brace ourselves for the worst.

Feedback: sports@dailynews.co.zw

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.