Relief for Zimbabwe Cricket as ICC confirms funding

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) is set to receive a financial bailout from the International Cricket Council to enable the cash strapped board to pay to pay outstanding salaries owed to its players and staff, including the players’ match fees.

The under-fire local cricket governing body confirmed the funding in a statement on Saturday saying it was part of the world cricket governing body’s rescue package for the debt-ridden board.

“Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is pleased to announce that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed the release of funds for the payment of monies owed to current staff and players, including the players’ match fees,” ZC said in the statement.

“The payment is part of an initial payment that forms part of a controlled funding payment plan the full details of which are still to be completed. ZC and the ICC are working together to ensure ZC meets the conditions of the ICC-controlled spending process so that the monthly cash distributions from the ICC can be finalised.”

ZC and the ICC are still working out the full details of the payment plan, which was first announced at the ICC’s annual conference in Dublin earlier this month.

“Payment plan proposals will be discussed and communicated to all outstanding creditors once this process has been concluded,” the release said. “This brings welcome relief to the current staff and players and is the first step in the recovery process of cricket in Zimbabwe to its former health and strength.”

Zimbabwe were forced to name a depleted squad for the T20I tri-series at home against Pakistan and Australia after five of its key men – Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Graeme Cremer, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine “remained unavailable” due to non-payment of their salaries of two months and match fees of over a year.

In fact, none of the five players have taken the field since the World Cup Qualifiers ended in March.

Malcolm Waller, who played in that series, withdrew from the squad on the eve of the five-match ODI series against Pakistan in which Zimbabwe was whitewashed.

ZC will now hope the players return to the fold ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer with two outgoing tours to South Africa and Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe will engage with Bangladesh for two Tests and three One-Day Internationals in a tour in October after their visit to South Africa, where they will play limited overs cricket.

In South Africa, Zimbabwe will play the Proteas in three ODIs and the same number of T-20 Internationals.