ZC meets striking players

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) hierarchy has organised a meeting today with striking players after the industrial action entered a second day yesterday.

ZC managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa will meet the cricketers at Harare Sports Club this morning as they try to seek  common ground.  

On Wednesday, the national team players downed their bats and pads putting into disarray preparations for the impending visit by a Pakistan A side at the end of the month as well as Sri Lanka’s visit later on.

The players demanded to be paid their dues that date back to January this year when they visited Bangladesh for a four-match Twenty20 series en-route to India for the World T20 as well as the home series’ against India and New Zealand in June and July respectively.

National contracts were extended by a month to allow the players to partake in the New Zealand series that ended in August while those on domestic cricket contracts’ expired at the end of April.

A player confirmed to the Daily News that they had decided to sit out of training waiting to be called back to work since their contracts had expired.

“We can’t really say we are on strike because the truth of the matter is that we are currently unemployed and no one is sure of what the future holds,” one of the players told the Daily News.

“The team that’s supposed to be preparing for the upcoming home ties has been confirmed but everyone’s predicament is the issue of contracts; we don’t know whether they will be given new ones.

ZC’s head of corporate affairs and human resources Nesta Vaki said the situation was under control adding that “maybe they are elements who might be not be sure of whether they are going to get their contracts renewed or not who are causing alarm.”

“We were trying out some new grading system that allows for fairness and we got the players involved in this familiarisation process where we had about eight of them at the presentation but the players however, rejected it saying that it wasn’t very good,” Vaki said.

She confirmed that the contracts were done and awaiting distribution and said that the players were supposed to meeting ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and the managing director Mukondiwa yesterday but that did not materialise.

The scenes are reminiscent of the two-month 2014 strike by players protesting over their unpaid dues in salaries, allowances and bonuses which took the intervention of the then players’ representative chief executive Eliah Zvimba to get ZC to commit to their obligation.

In November of the same year, the domestic cricket season’s resumption was delayed due to the contractual dispute.

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