Local cricket future at risk

HARARE - There is a great danger of Zimbabwe completely missing out on Test cricket in the future if the two-tier system being proposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) is implemented.

The forthcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand might be the last one Zimbabwe hosts against the leading cricket nations.

Lower-ranked teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will possibly be relegated to play with Associate nations like Ireland, Afghanistan, Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

The other higher-ranked sides, which bring in the most money in television revenue, the likes of Australia, India, Pakistan, England, New Zealand, South Africa, England and Pakistan are in the top-tier.

If this proposal is effected, it will spell a lot of problems for Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) as a result of the huge loss in revenue that will follow.

ZC should not cry foul once this comes into play because as a country, we have no one to blame for local cricket’s demise but ourselves.

Naturally, countries like England and Australia would have declined to tour Zimbabwe on a regular basis due to the political situation prevailing in this country under Zanu PF rule.

The local cricket administrators also put their own selfish interests ahead of those of the game which has seen a lot of players rather choose to go abroad to play in unfashionable leagues.

At least while there in the Diaspora, most of these players, who do not have anything to fall back on after cricket, are guaranteed to earn a decent living while playing the game they have devoted their lives to.

ZC blazers should have followed the lead of their brothers and sisters at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who have managed to maintain a high level of cricket standards despite the problems engulfing the Asian country.

Since 2009, the PCB has not been able to host a home Test series due to the risky security situation in Pakistan.

Instead, Pakistan has played most of their home series in Dubai where they have taken on England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

If ZC had ensured the necessary conditions to assemble a competitive side, then Zimbabwe would have been able to host Test series against these top sides either in Dubai or even South Africa since they do not want to travel to Harare.

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