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THE Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association have hit back at the suggestions by the International Cricket Council that the money agreed to pay the players prior to the Twenty20 World Cup “was too high” and insisted the players deserved to be rewarded “handsomely” despite their dismal performance at the recent ICC Twenty The players’ representative, Eliah Zvimba, yesterday sought to justify the rewards given to the players, who pocketed a staggering US$412 000 in just three games.

Zvimba yesterday said in a statement the figure was agreed upon on mutual grounds following negotiations with the national association.

Zimbabwe were the only ICC Full Member nation that failed to play in the Super 10 of the World Twenty20 Cup, as they could not make it past the preliminary round, in which they were paired against Associate members Ireland, Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

However, Zvimba said the administrators should also shoulder the blame for the debacle as they did not provide the necessary support for the team. Zvimba accused ZC leadership of maladministration and of being insincere.

He said the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson and Chief Financial Officer Faisal Hasnain were misled by the Zimbabwe Cricket authorities when they noted that the remuneration package struck by the association and representatives of the players, just to ensure that the country would play in Bangladesh, “was too high.”

“We agreed to the us$412 000.00 figure to include appearance and match fees for both the participating players and the other 15 remaining. ZC are signatory to this agreement.

“We would also want to thank the technical staff for coming up with such a team in a very short space of time and produced the results which was exceptionally well.

“The team trained for two days when the other nations were having international tours for practice and playing cricket at highest level daily.

“The selectors had a torrid time to choose who to drop because ZC didn’t play its part by honouring what they promised. With the push we made, both players and staff were finally paid.

“As cricketers, we felt it wise to take the bull by the horns taking into account ZC’s history of insincerity. We had a transition of both players and administrators who have contributed and invested time and resources in cricket but they all left frustrated because of such authoritarian way of doing things.

Source : The Herald