Zim Cricket, SRC Fight Takes New Twist As Tour Of Ireland Is Cancelled

The Zimbabwe Cricket has blamed the sports governing board, the Sports and Recreational Commission for its failure to send the women’s national side for a scheduled tour of Ireland which was supposed to start this week.

In a statement, the embattled ZC said despite all the arrangements having been made for the Lady Chevrons to travel to Ireland, the recent decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to immediately stop financing ZC programs and tours has left the game in shambles.

This follows the recent tiff between ZC and SRC over the appointment of a new board, which the latter found to have breached its directive to stop the Annual General Meeting which gave birth to the now dissolved board.

The SRC then appointed its interim board which will run until 2020, a time which a substantive board will be voted into office.

Last week, the SRC barred ZC staffers from gaining access to their offices in Highlands after it hired police officers and private security guards to man the gates and turn away anyone on a list of “unwanted persons”.

However, the move has violated ICC rules on non-government interference in the running of the game.

“Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) sympathises with the Zimbabwe women’s national team players who have been working hard over the last few months in preparation for their tour to Ireland which has since been cancelled,” wrote ZC Media and Communications Manager, Darlington Majonga.

The Lady Chevrons were due to leave Harare on Saturday, ahead of three One-Day Internationals (ODI) scheduled to start on 3 July, followed by three T20 internationals, but the tour was aborted at the last minute after the interim board appointed to run ZC failed to secure funding for the airfares, the cricket motherboard alleges.

“Plans for the tour were going smoothly, with visas and flight bookings for the team already done, until the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the substantive ZC board, led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani, and replaced it with the interim one over a week ago.

“The SRC actions have, unfortunately, resulted in the International Cricket Council (ICC) withholding funding from ZC.

“ZC has been receiving monthly cash distributions from the ICC under a well-publicised controlled funding mechanism agreed last year.

“However, without the June allocation, ZC was unable to pay for the women’s team’s travel, throwing Zimbabwe’s preparations for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier, to be held in Scotland in August-September, into disarray,” reads part of the statement.

According to ZC, the move means staffers and players’ June salaries will not be paid as its coffers are currently dry.

The involvement of the SRC, a government agency that ostensibly oversees all registered national sporting associations, ZC said, has left the future of the game of cricket in Zimbabwe uncertain.

“ICC policy dictates that member boards must manage their affairs without interference from government or public bodies,” the statement further reads.

The consequences of violating the ICC constitution could be as serious as the suspension of membership and funding.