Raza, ZC in dialogue

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and star player Sikandar Raza appear to be finding each other again in the aftermath of a minor fallout that saw both parties washing their dirty linen in public recently.

Raza has been one of the few success stories on the local front and leading exemplary on the field with both bat and ball but almost cut short his international career when he decided to play in the Canadian league without getting clearance from ZC.

As a result, he missed the Zimbabwe home triangular series against Australia and Pakistan as well as the One Day Internationals against the later in Bulawayo.

ZC on the other hand in a bid to guard against player power, denied to renew the Pakistan-born cricketer’s central contract.

In a Twitter rant, Raza then made damaging allegations that the newly appointed ZC acting-managing director, Givemore Makoni had a vendetta against him.

“I have been informed by my agent that the new acting MD…Makoni will not offer me a contract and I will not be considered for selection for SA (South Africa) and Bang (Bangladesh) tour. Reasons for that are still unknown to me and hopefully I or my agent will be informed of those soon,” Raza tweeted.

“Hope this answers the question to so many who have been asking regarding my availability. In..Allah I will keep working hard and I remain available and committed and hopefully will be back soon.”

ZC then released a statement slamming the player for taking contractual matter into the public domain.

As the saga threatened to degenerate into total chaos, Raza then helda meeting with ZC board chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani in Bulawayo.

“Travelling back to Harare, I met with the chairperson of ZC to discuss the best way forward. I can happily say a lot of good things came out of the meeting and I am confident that this matter will be resolved sooner rather than later in sha Allah. Thank you all for prayer and support,” Raza said on Twitter.

Makoni yesterday told the Daily News that he does not have an axe to grind with Raza but ZC was simply setting an example on how centrally-contracted players must behave.

“There’s no bad blood between the youngster and me; you can ask him about that. The main objective of the whole thing is to make sure that we are sending the right signal to our players and whoever would want to play for Zimbabwe,” Makoni said.

“It is not meant to punish the player, we don’t gain anything from doing that. Raza is one of our top players, he was the standout performer during the ICC Qualifier and we need him in the team and that is why we are desperate to say you cannot play in a certain league at a certain time when you are supposed to be representing your country.

“But a player — no matter how good or bad — simply has to show respect for the contract that he signed and adhere to that.

“The issue of his contract is not cast in stone it is being looked into and a position should be made known during or after the tour of Bangladesh.”

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