Zim cricketers regret ZPCA's demise

HARARE - Local cricketers have bemoaned the demise of their players’ union following their continued struggle to access match fees and lucrative contracts from Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC).

The Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association (ZPCA) folded a year ago after former chief executive Eliah Zvimba’s contract was not renewed.

The labour lawyer fell out with some senior cricketers in the ZPCA executive over a number of key appointments in the union’s secretariat.

In its short existence, ZPCA had played a major role in negotiating better remuneration and working conditions for the cricketers.  

Last month, Zimbabwe cricketers downed their bats and pads in protest over unpaid match fees dating back to January’s Twenty20 tour of Bangladesh which was part of the team’s preparations for the World T20 in India.

The players also demanded dues for two home assignments against India in June and New Zealand in July.

Another borne of contention was the issue of contracts for the 2016/2-17 cricket season that were delayed by over a month.

Some of the senior players feel they received raw deals when the contracts finally were unveiled with many getting earn-as-you-play deals.

“It is one of those moments when you begin to think that ZPCA under Zvimba was a better vehicle to bargain on behalf of the players but people never saw it coming when they allowed the union to die a natural death,” a player told the Daily News yesterday.

“As it stands, ZC will always have it their way and it’s either the players shape up or ship out except when there’s a tour like this that’s when we hold the keys to protest because they wouldn’t want to see us boycotting matches; it paints a negative image for them internationally.”

Former ZPCA chief executive Zvimba blasted the then players’ executive for causing the union’s demise in pursuit of their selfish gains at the expense of the game.

“My fallout was all because of sheer lack of knowledge and greediness, especially from the senior players. They didn’t care about others and the future of cricket players at large,” Zvimba said.

“Their (players) current predicament could have been dealt with ease since the other Test nations had understood their plight and offered to assist financially for the next 10 years.

“Fica also pledged to assist technically and all was taking shape so it’s a matter of revisiting the Mou and comply rather than to wait for ZC to pay them.

“If other countries have existing players associations in place; it shows they are not crazy but research reveals that some cricket governing bodies thrive on bad corporate governance and they will never value the players.

“Surely, the players are to blame for listening to prominent crooks in cricket circles which made them abandon ZCPA.”

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