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‘Players and staff are bearing the brunt of the standoff’ – ZC respond to ICC suspension

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) would like to see its “teams playing again as soon as possible” after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended the Full Member on Thursday.

The ICC announced the decision after its annual conference in London, stating that the suspension was due to “government interference” in the governance of ZC.

The decision means that ICC funding to ZC has been frozen and representative teams barred from competing at any ICC events.

An interim committee replaced the elected board in June on the direction of a government-run commission, but the ICC has directed for the reinstatement of the elected board within three months before progress on the matter is discussed at an ICC board meeting in October.

In response to the suspension, ZC released a statement on Friday, stating: “Although the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were inevitable, we believe the devastating consequences of suspension should jolt all the parties involved into setting differences aside in an effort to find amicable solutions that will avert expulsion and the total demise of the game.

“As things stand, Zimbabwe will be barred from participating in both the women’s and men’s ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 tournaments, respectively scheduled for Scotland in August-September and Dubai in September-October.

“To exacerbate matters, ZC will not be able to stage its domestic competitions nor to fulfil its Future Tours Programme and other international obligations…In all this, players and staff are bearing the brunt of the standoff and they might be forced to go for months or forever without their salaries and match fees.”

The statement added that ZC has requested the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to release findings of its recent audit regarding the country’s cricketing administration.

ZC added that it “would also welcome the ICC to conduct another audit should the world cricket authority so wish”.

Read the full statement below:

The Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani has taken note of the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s decision to suspend Zimbabwe over government interference.

As a result of suspension, ICC funding to ZC has been frozen and representative teams from Zimbabwe will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events.

The ICC has directed that the elected ZC board, chaired by Mukuhlani, be reinstated to office within three months, and progress in this respect will be considered again in October.

The government-run commission had replaced the elected board with an interim committee last month, but the ICC viewed it as government interference, which is against the world body’s rules.

Although the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were inevitable, we believe the devastating consequences of suspension should jolt all the parties involved into setting differences aside in an effort to find amicable solutions that will avert expulsion and the total demise of the game.

As things stand, Zimbabwe will be barred from participating in both the women’s and men’s ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 tournaments, respectively scheduled for Scotland in August-September and Dubai in September-October.

The ICC had also awarded Zimbabwe the right to host another global qualifier event next, but that now hangs in the balance.

To exacerbate matters, ZC will not be able to stage its domestic competitions nor to fulfil its Future Tours Programme and other international obligations, including the tour to Bangladesh for a T20 triangular series that also includes Afghanistan in September.

In all this, players and staff are bearing the brunt of the standoff and they might be forced to go for months or forever without their salaries and match fees.

We would like to see our teams playing again as soon as possible and the ZC board is ready to cooperate with the SRC and other stakeholders to get Zimbabwe back to operating within the confines of the ICC statutes again.

The board is committed to ensuring our game is financially stable, thriving and of a world-class standard.

And in light of the allegations that have been peddled, we are appealing to the SRC to release the findings of a forensic audit that the government-run body recently conducted into the affairs of ZC.

The ZC board would also welcome the ICC to conduct another audit should the world cricket authority so wish.

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