Bailout saga: Why ZC declined ICC offer

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) decision to refuse to accept an International Cricket Council (ICC) bailout was met with scorn as many cricket enthusiasts concluded that the association was being inconsiderate towards the plight of players and staff in general.

The proposed bailout from the ICC has remained a largely guarded secret with no official documents spilling into the public domain.

ZC, in what would be viewed as taking advantage of the situation has time and again given accounts that suits their position and saves to vindicate their controversial decision.

The struggling cricket mother body, currently in the red up to the tune of $16 million, would have seen its debt been set aside on the condition that an independent Administrator appointed by the ICC run the ZC affairs for the next three years.

At least $10.8 million of that bailout package would go towards servicing loans ZC had taken out with two local banks.

For the next three years, the ICC would then receive $450 000 per month as running costs that would pay for players and staff salaries together with other sundry requirements.

Tempting as it was, the ZC board member and chairman of the cricket committee, Freddy Kapuya said the proposal came with a heavy price to pay.

He said accepting the bailout would have been futile for the country’s participation on the international stage.

“Some stakeholders are worried that we didn’t accept the bailout but they are some conditions contained in the document that would have seen us being disenfranchised,” Kapuya told the Daily News on Sunday.

“If we had taken it for instance, they were conditions that would not allow us to host international matches until 2016 which meant that there would be no South Africa and Australia tour to talk about, neither would any other teams find their selves in the country and vice versa.”

“What it also meant is that countries like Ireland would continue playing more international games and amassing as many points as possible during our three-year sabbatical from international cricket.”

Wilfred Mukondiwa, ZC managing director maintained that the ICC bailout remains a matter of privacy.

“The issue of the bailout is a matter of strict confidentiality between ZC and the International Cricket Council,” Mukondiwa said.

Probed further on why ZC refused the bailout at a time it has resorted to retrenchments to cut down on costs, Mukondiwa said:

“ZC has not abdicated its mandate of running cricket in Zimbabwe. We have a business plan that we are putting in place which is driven by restructuring, and whose key dynamic is to cut down on costs.

“In line with that, we will make an announcement at the relevant time.”

However, cricket is a gentlemen’s game and as long as ZC continue to keep the document a secret without giving all cricket stakeholders a chance to evaluate the full ICC proposals, there will always be doubt whether a correct decision was made.

Zimbabwe is a big cricket family and there is no doubt that was need for everyone to take part in such an important discussion for an informed unilateral decision to be reached.

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.