Zim play­ers likely to call off protest and play in tri-se­ries

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

ZIM­BABWE’S play­ers are likely to call off their threat­ened protest ac­tion and play in next month’s T20 tri­an­gu­lar se­ries, which in­volves Aus­tralia and Pak­istan, de­spite not be­ing paid out­stand­ing salaries and match fees.

Although sev­eral top-tier play­ers are yet to take part in the prac­tice matches against a tour­ing Kenyan team, an in­sider told ESPNcricinfo that talks be­tween Zim­babwe Cricket’s newly-ap­pointed con­sul­tant Vince van der Bijl and play­ers’ rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ger­ald Mlotshwa had led to an “un­der­stand­ing”.

It was un­der­stood that ZC would only be able to set­tle their bills once they re­ceive their next ICC grant in July and it was im­por­tant that the matches went ahead in the in­terim.

Zim­babwe’s play­ers are owed two months’ worth of salaries and match fees from their tour to Sri Lanka which took place in July last year.

“The play­ers have re­alised that they are prob­a­bly not go­ing to get any pay be­fore July and are frus­trated that ZC have not com­mu­ni­cated with them. They still feel the non-pay­ment is ridicu­lous and they want to see a pay­ment plan in writ­ing from ZC,” a source told ESPNcricinfo.

The source also con­firmed the play­ers had also “come to the re­al­i­sa­tion that if th­ese matches don’t hap­pen, ZC could be fin­ished, es­pe­cially if you look at the fix­tures they have com­ing up”.

De­spite be­ing a Full Mem­ber, Zim­babwe do not play any Tests in the fore­see­able fu­ture. In the next three months, they are sched­uled to play some white-ball cricket only and are due to host Pak­istan for five ODIs af­ter the T20 tri­an­gu­lar se­ries and then travel to South Africa for three ODIs and three T20s.

“For play­ers who hope to make some living from cricket, they have to play in those matches or they won’t have a job.”

Zim­babwe’s prepa­ra­tions for the se­ries have be­gun with a visit from Kenya, who are play­ing 20-over matches against Zim­bab­wean sides, which were com­piled with a view to giv­ing in­terim coach Lalc­hand Ra­jput a first look at the play­ers at his dis­posal. Ra­jput is yet to prop­erly ben­e­fit from that be­cause some play­ers opted out of the first three days of matches.

Last Fri­day, ZC had named two 15-man squads called Se­lect XI and Board XI (later changed to Chair­man’s XI) and while both teams have played against the tour­ing Kenyans, they have not fea­tured sev­eral big names. For the Chair­man’s XI, Hamil­ton Masakadza and Peter Moor have not played, while for the Se­lect side, Bren­dan Tay­lor, Kyle Jarvis, Ryan Burl and

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