'Ladies cricket squad owed money'

HARARE - Preparations for this month’s ICC Africa Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifiers got off to a false start with Zimbabwean players training under protest over unpaid match fees and allowances, the Daily News can reveal.

Zimbabwe is set to host the continental qualifiers from April 23 to 26 at two venues, Harare Sports Club and Highlands’ Country Club.

The other teams taking part in the qualifiers will be Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The team which comes out tops from the tournament will proceed to take part in the global final qualifying tournament for the tournament to be held in the West Indies in 2018.

“The girls are owed match fees dating back to the Thailand tour where they finished third in the World Cup qualifiers behind Ireland and Bangladesh in November and December last year including their allowances,” an insider told the Daily News yesterday.

“I’m told they get $250 per game which was however, cut down to $200 and from the calculations they played a total of five games — three in the group stages, the semi-final match and the third and fourth place play-off which is a total of $1 000 for each player ...”

The sources said Zimbabwe Cricket seems insincere to the ladies plight considering they hosted a luncheon for the Under-19 boys’ team which finished 11th at this year’s World Cup and gave each of the 15 players $2 000.

“These girls finished third during the last qualifiers for the WT20 in Thailand last year but no one from ZC noticed them when they returned; the only reward they get is being denied their dues yet they represented their country with pride,” said the source.

When the Daily News visited Harare Sports Club yesterday, the team was busy with the routine training sessions under the watchful eye of head coach Trevor Phiri, his assistant Leonard Nhamburo, Mountaineers assistant Mufaro Chiturumani and national team bowling coach Makhaya Ntini.

Phiri, however, denied there was unrest in his squad.

“We are doing all we can ahead of this decisive tournament and with the games being staged here in our own conditions, we should be able to prevail over our opponents but not to say that we will be taking them lightly,” he said.

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