Home » Sports » ’We’ll Always Stand for Cricketers’ [column]

The International Cricket Council offered Zimbabwe Cricket a very good deal because ZC have failed and need a consultant to come in.

The US$18 million debt scares away any prospective sponsor because the money will be chewed before it gets to the beneficiaries.

ZC board must just go into quarantine and after three years, they can still come.

While they are hunting for money to clear their debts, ZPCA through FICA, will continue to lobby ICC to pay directly into the Players’ Pool Account.

Zimbabwe cricketers are still underpaid by ZC.

ZPCA have a record of how much past and present players are owed.

We will soon add to the US$18 million debt.

No wonder why there is such an exodus of players to play abroad just to earn a living, it’s not that they don’t want to play for their country.

We urge all those who are owed from whatever time and amount to come forward. We also urge all cricketers to remain united, focused and keep developing their careers.

Sport is now serious business which needs fresh and capable minds to run it professionally.

We urge ZC and any other sports bodies to treat players with respect and be warned that the trends have changed.

ZC are the drivers of the “World Cup gravy train”. We are just passengers on board and the world knows who is in the driving seat and why the train is off the rails. When the association was finally resuscitated, it was indeed a momentous occasion for all the players.

It marked the point when cricketers decided to unite for their common interests to ensure they would no longer be treated as second-class citizens.

It is no coincidence that this was the precursor to the most successful period of collective bargaining in Zimbabwean Cricket history. By winning the World Cup, it shows that there is serious cricket development in Sri Lanka. They were paid US$1 million over and above their salaries and winning bonuses.

It’s misleading to tell the world that their salaries were not paid respectively.

Appearance, match fees and winning bonuses were also treated separately.

Time has come that the real beneficiaries must be handsomely rewarded and their welfare taken care of.

It’s sad to see that our Sports Legends are now living in poverty because there was nothing to secure their future.

But administrators are there, forever, doing nothing.

It’s not a secret that ZPCA will keep pushing for the 25% share from the ICC WT20 proceeds and all other revenues realised by ZC on commercial activities including TV rights.

We are shocked to learn that ZC have already rejected the proposal when we are still negotiating.

We have a Memorandum of UnderstandingCBA in place and if they are not prepared to discuss or agree, we have plenty of avenues at our disposal to deal with this matter.

When it comes to development of facilities, the proposed cricket ground in Victoria Falls is just a bush full of warthogs and baboons. There is no cricket ground to talk about.

In Bulawayo, the Emakhandeni Cricket project looks like a car park for imbibers. Players walk to BAC and Queens Sports Club, the only surviving cricket facilities in Matabeleland.

Players are prone to serious injuries and there is no insurance or medical aid plan in place. It’s just on paper but nothing is happening on the ground.

There is no retirement plans or any contingency plan in existence.

Case of serious and horrific injuries like the one happened to Mark Vermulen are many and nobody cares.

Honestly we have justification for the 25% share.

The contribution made by past players is not even recognised in Zimbabwe. They are our heroes and legends.

We want to see commentators, managers, umpires appearing on the world radar. We want them back to tap more into their expertise, work with them for the betterment of cricket in Zimbabwe.

All those who left must consider coming and play for their country. We will keep an eye on any form of discrimination, intimidation, harassment and selective tendencies towards players.

Some board members have already begun campaigning for the dismissal of five key players.

We have made our intentions known and we will fight for just and equitable working conditions.

Several universities in the country are producing sport management graduates and ZOC is working tirelessly to improve the quality of administrators but all their efforts are going to waste.

From a distance, we would suggest ZC adopt the ICC’s bailout plan immediately and accept the curatorjudiciary manager to run the show for the recommended period.

Eliah Zvimba is the ZPCA secretary-general

Source : The Herald