What's the story
Cricket in Zimbabwe has been going through a really rough phase in the past few months, with the Cricket Board finding themselves neck-deep in debt. The lack of quality in the team, the absence of enough match-experience for the players and the very poor financial viability in conducting the few series that eventually happen, have all combined up to form a vicious cycle, giving Zimbabwe cricket the impression of a continually sinking ship.
In case you didn't know...
Earlier, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) had found themselves in a difficult situation when the players have given them an ultimatum to pay their long-overdue salaries and match fees by June 25, failing which they would boycott the T20 tri-series with Australia and Pakistan that was soon to happen. The cricketers were owed three months' salary and match fees from their tour of Sri Lanka last July and had already opted out of training ahead of the tri-series as the first sign of protest.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) had then come to ZC's aid, paying out their yearly bonus in advance, in addition to a few supplementary fees as well. The players had then called off their protest and also participated in the series. They later received the due payments.
The heart of the matter
According to News Day, ZC is up against another adversity as Croco Motors Pvt. Ltd., a local vehicle sales and maintenance firm, has filed a petition at the High Court, wherein they demand the repayment of a loan of USD 2.56 million. The loan reportedly dates back to 2015, when the two parties combined for an advertising contract by use of cricket boxes.
The declaration reads: “On June 11, 2015, the defendant (Zimbabwe Cricket) acknowledged its liability to the plaintiff (Croco Holdings) in the sum of $2.8 million. In terms of the acknowledgment of debt, the defendant undertook to repay the sum of $240,000 through the provision of cricket boxes on lease for a period of 25 years, leaving a balance due and owing by the defendant to the plaintiff in the sum of $2.56 million.”
The media handle also reports that Croco Motors filed the summons on September 4, 2018, after several approaches on their own which unfortunately went in vain due to lack of response from the Board. Atherstone and Cook Legal Practitioners, a law firm based off Harare, overlooks the process for Croco. Both the court and Croco Motors are awaiting a response from ZC, after which light may be shed on further proceedings.