D-Day for Zim Cricket

HARARE – Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has until 12 noon today to address the grievances from all the centrally-contracted players or else they will go on strike which will leave the upcoming tri-series in jeopardy.

Zimbabwe is set to host Pakistan and Australia in a Twenty20 tri-series to be held in Harare and Bulawayo starting in July.

The cricketers are demanding to be paid their outstanding salaries, match fees and bonuses. After failing to qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup set for England and Wales after losing to minnows United Arab Emirates in their final match of the ICC WC Qualifier staged on home soil in March, the players received a lot of flak from the board and the fans.

But the players responded by coming together and airing their grievances through their legal representative Gerald Mlotshwa of Titan Law, who last week gave ZC the ultimatum.

Mlotshwa’s letter clearly showed that the players were not motivated ahead of the qualifiers since they had gone for many months without pay.

“Each of our clients demand written undertaking, on or before 12 noon, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, from Zimbabwe Cricket as to precisely when all amounts due and payable to them shall be paid in full,” Mlotshwa said in the letter also copied to Sports minister Kazembe Kazembe.

“Failure to do so will, apart from our clients, and other creditors, of Zimbabwe Cricket, including the placement of the organisation under judicial management or the equivalent thereof.

“Much will also depend on the sincerity and reasonableness of ZC’s response, and in particular the date by which it undertakes to clear all amounts due to each of our clients. Lastly, whereas some of our clients, particularly the junior players, are weary of the possibility of attempts to intimidate them, in light of this correspondence, they have every assurance from ourselves that any such underhand threats will be met with severe retaliatory action- within the confines of the law.”

In the same letter, the players accused ZC of being incompetent and lacking professionalism.

“ZC will certainly be aware that each and every member of the said Chevrons is owed certain amounts arising out of their contracts with the union. These amounts arise out of, inter alia, their salaries, match fees and bonuses,” he letter read.

“There has been no lawful explanation, or justification, whatsoever as to why these amounts are outstanding, and more importantly, when the exactly said amounts, many months in arrears, will be paid.

“ZC cannot simply choose to remain silent on a matter of paramount importance to our clients, and of material consequence to their contracts.

“The stance adopted by ZC in unprofessional, unconscionable and indicative of serious underlying governance and financial management shortcomings impacting on the solvency and going-concern status of ZC.”

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