Zim Cricket operating like amateurs

HARARE - Over the last few years, very little good news have come out of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) as the game has continued to decline.

There are the odd limited overs victories over India, Pakistan and New Zealand but ultimately the team would go on to lose the series.

Obviously, there are the maiden Test centuries by batsmen Tino Mawoyo, Craig Ervine and Regis Chakabva which lifted the gloom off the faces of cricket fans across the country.

While the team has generally under-performed on the pitch across all three formats of the game, cricket has been able to retain a keen following.

With victories coming along very rarely like thunderstorms in the desert, Zimbabwe cricket fans have become accustomed to gloom.

So instead of waking up to some good news on Thursday morning, the game’s followers were compounded to further misery after national team players boycotted training on Wednesday.

The team was scheduled to start preparing for the forthcoming engagements against Pakistan A and a Test series against Sri Lanka.

However, the preparations have kicked off on a bad note after the players demanded their contracts and outstanding match fees dating back to January this year.

Domestic players’ contracts ran out in April while those of centrally contracted national team players concluded at the end of last month.

Although they are administering cricket as a professional sport, ZC are still operating like an amateur organisation.

They wait for the contracts to run down and then begin to negotiate for new ones when there are fixtures approaching.

This is a recipe for disaster as valuable preparation time is lost while discussing housekeeping issues that must be sorted out way before the start of a new season.

In any sporting discipline whether be it athletics, boxing, football, hockey or cricket, how you prepare will likely have a determinant effect on the results you will achieve on match day.

Now with the team’s preparations making a false start, ZC should not expect to perform miracles when Pakistan A and Sri Lanka finally arrive.

We cannot be losing both on the field and off the field by failing to plan for elementary issues like player contracts and settling outstanding match fees.

Of course, resources will always be in short supply in such a depreciating economy but ZC should not use it as an excuse.

They need to be open with the cricketers rather than being reactive after an industrial action.

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