ZC signs mega deal with TSM

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket interim chairman Wilson Manase has successfully secured a deal with leading Bangladeshi sports agency — Total Sports Marketing (TSM) — that sees ZC hosting home matches at zero cost.

The eight-year deal was finalised in July ahead of the first home series against India which saw the cash-strapped ZC saving at least $2,5 million in television production costs alone.

In addition, the India series generated a further $3,8 million in revenue which will now be used to offset ZC’s debt which at one point had ballooned to $22 million.

Manase, who replaced Peter Chingoka in June 2014, has been able to reduce the debt to at least $7 million.

Zimbabwe has in the past failed to host home series against Test-playing nations due to the high costs involved.

At least $1 million is gobbled up by TV production, accommodation and logistics during every home series.

But under this new deal, TSM is responsible for all these costs leaving ZC with some breathing space.

Manase said: “According to the FTP (Future Tours Programme) that we had, we are supposed to play only 58 ODI games excluding the ICC games by 2023.

“It was then going to be very difficult for us to improve our ranking and it was also going to be difficult for us to survive to an extent of maybe we were going close shop.

“TSM came in, they will make losses at first and we told them that but once we improve our brand then they can start making money trough TV rights.

“When the team is playing well ZC will also make money and for them to accept our request it was very difficult.

“What it means is that we must do the right thing to put the game into the proper perspective but at the same time to give more game time to our players.”

TSM chief executive officer Moinul Chowdury said he was confident Zimbabwe was heading in the right direction hence the company’s wiliness to work with ZC.

“I’m a businessman, I have to see whether this deal gives me good business investment or not,” he said.

“I know how to make money out of sports investment but there was a time I didn’t see a future for Zimbabwe Cricket.

“But (Mr) Manase convinced me and I put my trust on his leadership and that of former chairman (Mr) Peter Chingoka whom I honour like a father.

“(Mr) Chingoka introduced me to (Mr) Manase in 2009 and he always said many good things about (Mr) Manase that he is a very good gentleman and a good businessman who has the foresight to take cricket forward so all those things, the former chairman, the current chairman, their persuasion and their convincing power made me agree to invest in Zimbabwe Cricket.

“I have a belief that if everything goes well then I don’t have to lose money after 2016 but I can start earning money from 2017, that’s my belief.”

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