Harare - Zimbabwe’s cricketers were paid just over USD 400,000 during the World T20 recently held in Bangladesh. The team failed to go past the qualifying stages and were the only Test playing nation to not feature in the main draw of the tournament. The remuneration amount struck by Zimbabwe cricket and the representatives of the players just to ensure that the team would play in Bangladesh was too high, admitted ICC chief executive Dave Richardson and chief financial officer Faisal Hasnain.
According to a report in the Zimbabwe Herald, the remuneration package was in addition to the player’s basic salaries under the current contracts. This payment was not consulted by the ZC to the ICC since they would have objected to this agreement. The remuneration deal comes at a time when ZC was tied by the threat of either they gave in to the demands of the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association or the players would boycott the World Cup in Bangladesh, was an arrangement loaded with excesses for an organisation whose coffers were empty.
The Zimbabwe players boycott started in February 2014 due to non-payment. This led to the postponement of the domestic T20 tournament but salaries were not been paid. The players held a meeting at Harare Sports Club this morning and decided their boycott would continue. ZC were handed a USD 2.5 million loan, repayable from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 distributions from where the local organisation is set to earn USD 16.3 million. This was put in to enable ZC to pay outstanding salaries and all necessary expenses to ensure the national team was adequately prepared for, and would be able to compete, in Bangladesh.
Richardson and Hasnain spent about two days in Harare and they met the ZC bankers, staff, board members, national coach Andy waller, franchise chief executives and KPMG officials. In a paper presented by ICC officials on the financial crisis plaguing Zimbabwe cricket, it stated that prior to the management’s arrival in Harare, the Zimbabwe team had advised ZC that they were not prepared to participate in the ICC WT20 unless immediate arrangements were made to deposit 25 percent of ZC’s forecasted distribution from the ICC WT20 into a trust account for the benefit of securing the National and Franchise players’ remuneration for the remainder of 2014 and 2015.
The paper also said that the ICC faced a tricky situation regarding Zimbabwe’s Test status at a time when some Associate members were sitting on a better financial base and in an environment where the national team’s performance, on the international stage, was in no way better than those in the lower tier. “(Associate Boards) may well raise valid concerns about the value of exposing the ICC to such risks to protect a Full member whose current performances on the field are no better than a top Associate Member.”