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Zimbabwe Cricket Board receives much-needed help from the ICC

ANALYST
News
553   //    04 Jul 2018, 16:55 IST

CRICKET-ZIM-PAK

What's the story

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Zimbabwe Cricket Board (ZC) has finally come to terms on a “package of measures”, which will finally enable the nearly-impoverished cricketing body to pay off its debts, thereby allowing revolting players to come out of their self-imposed exile.

The ICC has also extended all possible help to the ZC so that board will be able to manage the game in the country.

The details

The amount that has been discussed between the two bodies are assumed to be well enough for the ZC to pay the players' salaries that have been long overdue, as well as to clear off a host of other bills, including grounds' maintenance costs.

The ICC has also decreed that the Zimbabwe board will continue to receive funding “on a controlled basis”, that will help in further development.

The ICC recently held its annual conference in Dublin, Ireland, and that is when the international governing body on the sport took the lifesaver decision in favour of the Zimbabwe board.

It is widely understood that the African nation was in due danger of suspension, both from the game and from the ICC, if they were not able to produce any substantial evidence regarding the debt they had, and that of the renegotiated terms with those institutions to whom ZC owes money.

The Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (ZMAC) had come to the aid of ZC, and the two organisations worked in tandem to restructure the financial situation to such a way that will give more ease to ZC in payback.

This, in turn, deemed the country's board to have complied with the terms set by the ICC, whose board further decided to commit in assisting the country's board to restore itself to earlier conditions.

A plan of action will also be put together by the ICC to ensure that ZC is funded in a more regulated manner in future. That would ensure that the Zimbabwean players' and staff's salaries are duly paid.

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Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, said that he was happy to have been able to chart out a way that will see ZC travel through smoother roads, and also informed the media that there are massive changes in plans up ahead.

"It will require a significant change to their financial, managerial and cricketing operations, along with support from the ICC, but we saw the latent potential of cricket at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and this gives us the opportunity to build on that,” he added.

In case you didn't know

Earlier this May, the Zimbabwe Board found themselves in a tough situation as the players had given them a stiff ultimatum to pay their long-overdue salaries and match fees by June 25, failing which they will boycott the currently happening T20 tri-series with Australia and Pakistan.

The cricketers were owed three months' salary and match fees from their tour of Sri Lanka last July. It is now understood that while the match fees from the Sri Lankan tour have been paid, while the remaining is still due.

In a few weeks since the above happened, it was newly realised that talks between ZC's newly-appointed consultant Vince van der Bijl and players' representative Gerald Mlotchwa had led to an "understanding", as a result of which the board were allowed more time by the players to pay them. Most of the players also called off their boycott of the tri-series.

And right now, all that has been heard in detail has been happening as Zimbabwe continue to participate in the series that is happening in parallel without much ado.

However, they still lack a few big names in their squad such as Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Sikandar Raza, Shawn Williams and Craig Ervine. Raza has even joined the Montreal Tigers in the Global T20 League Canada, which is happening in parallel as well.

What's next

Former ZC Chairperson Faisal Hasnain, who resigned office and left the organisation at the end of April has not been replaced yet. Former South African player Vince van der Bijl is just a temporary solution that ZC have at hand right now.

Gerald Mlotchwa, the representative of the players, has also not yet responded to the new decisions on the ZC taken on behalf of the ICC.

Zimbabwe, meanwhile continues to perform dismally as losses to both Australia and Pakistan have already unfavoured them from a chance in the series finals, with one more round of games remaining.

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