Zvimba slams 'greedy' cricketers

HARARE - Former  Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association (ZPCA) chief executive Eliah Zvimba says “confusion and greediness” has cost local cricketers their bargaining power.

The players are currently in a catch 22 situation as Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has paid them their March salaries and matches fees for the incoming tours by Afghanistan, South Africa and Australia.

ZC is also still to pay the cricketers their match fees for this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand where Zimbabwe failed to progress from the group stages.   

ZPCA is currently paralysed after the players did not renew Zvimba’s contract at the end of last year.

The labour lawyer expert, who had negotiated for a pay deal with ZC on behalf of the players during the December 2013 strike, blames a number of “privileged” senior players for the problems ZPCA is facing at the moment.

“It’s an obligation (payment of salaries and match fees) ZC has to honour but I don’t see them losing sleep over these funny demands and they can only instruct them (players) to go out there and play the game or risk undesirable consequences,” Zvimba told the Daily News yesterday.

“This is the end of player power and ZC is doing what any other employer can do especially if the work force is a bunch of confused lots who are short sighted and greedy.”

Shortly before the cricket jamboree in Austrasia, local cricketers rushed to sign World Cup player terms with ZC going against Zvimba and the Federation of International Cricketers Association’s (Fica) advice.

The cricketers are now tied down to these contracts and have to dance to ZC’s tune until August when most of these deals run out.

Zvimba argued that during his short-lived tenure at ZPCA, they advised the players to formalise their representative board because they could not engage ZC as individuals in issues related to welfare.

“Ideally ZC advised that they cannot engage individuals but rather they formalise the Players Union and bargain not only for the national team but for all the cricketer in the country down to the provincial league level,” he said.

“The players have since surrendered their leverage and ZC is not mandated to negotiate individual contracts.

“In any case, all national team players are on a retainer and have signed contracts till August 2015 to play cricket.

“Now they cannot compare themselves to other international players, they simply have to comply with what the employer says.

“Unfortunately only the few (players) who are at the twilight of their careers are benefiting through this corrupt means because of greediness and I don’t see any bright prospects for cricketers in Zimbabwe.”

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