With funds frozen, Zimbabwe pull out of Bangladesh triangular
With the funds frozen after the suspension imposed by the ICC, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has notified in a statement its inability to stage domestic competitions or fulfill the obligations of the Future Tours Programme, which required it to tour Bangladesh for a triangular series including Afghanistan in September. If Zimbabwe don’t end up participating, the series is likely to be turned into a bilateral affair.
The suspension also bars Zimbabwe from participating in ICC events, meaning it won’t be able to able to feature in the women’s and men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019, respectively scheduled for Scotland in August-September and Dubai in September-October, as of now.
ICC suspended ZC after the country’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), a state-run enterprise that reports to the sports ministry, replaced the elected board with an interim committee last month. Tavengwa Mukuhlani’s election as the chairman had put the board in conflict with SRC, which had issued a directive not long back to suspend the electoral process, failing which it had to suspend the board altogether. ICC deemed it as political interference and has now directed ZC to reinstate Mukuhlani within three months.
“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 read. “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 Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) meanwhile has also requested the ICC to rethink solutions around reinstating Zimbabwe back, given the number of livelihoods that are at risk.
“The Zimbabwean players have endured years of hardship under the previous board of ZC,” FICA executive chairman Tony Irish said. “This has included many instances of non-payment and frequent breaches of their playing contracts. We have asked ICC to consider some mechanism to enable player contracts to be honoured despite the unfortunate suspension of the new board of ZC.