By Sports Reporter
THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has finally bowed down to pressure and lifted the suspension of the Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board, including acting managing director Givemore Makoni following an order by the Administrative Court.
The ruling also comes in the wake of ICC’s letter to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) on 24 July directing them to “unconditionally” reinstate the ousted board or risk termination of their membership.
“Accordingly, and pursuant to the said court order, the SRC hereby lifts the suspension of the directors of ZC, including that of the acting managing director (Givemore Makoni), with immediate effect,” read a statement released by the SRC on Thursday. “The interim committee accordingly ceases to administer the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket forthwith.”
The court ruling comes after the suspended ZC board had appealed the SRC’s original sanction at an administrative court in June. The appeal was initially dismissed on a technicality, but ZC re-launched their appeal and the matter remained sub judice, even as the ICC moved to suspend Zimbabwe’s membership last month.
Following the court decision, SRC board chairman Gerald Mlotshwa wrote to Mukuhlani on Thursday announcing the decision to lift the suspension which resulted in the country’s suspension from the global game by the International Cricket Council (ICC)
“This letter therefore serves to officially communicate to ZC the following:
(a) The SRC hereby revokes its entire suspension of the entire board of ZC that was elected on the 14th of June 2019.
(b) The SRC hereby revokes its suspension of the acting managing director of ZC.
(c) The SRC hereby disbands and revokes the appointment of the interim committee which had appointed to take over and administer the affairs of ZC.
(d) The SRC confirms that it has directed the interim committee and its appointees forthwith, restore full control of all affairs without consent of the International Cricket Council,” Mlotshwa wrote in the letter which is in possession of NewZimbabwe.com.
The decision by the country’s supreme sports governing body finally brings an end to the long running saga which recently cost the country its place in the upcoming men and women’s T20 World Cup.
However this has come too late to save the participation of the two Zimbabwean senior sides at the T20 World Cup qualifiers. The women’s side has already been replaced by Namibia for the qualifiers in Scotland at the end of the month, while the ICC announced Tuesday that Nigeria would take Zimbabwe’s spot in the men’s qualifiers in October.
The SRC reassured the reinstated ZC board chairman that they would no longer interfere in the affairs of the local cricket governing body.
“We confirm and restate hereto the commitment of the SRC that it shall not interfere with the administration of (ZC)’s affairs without the consent of the International Cricket Council. It has also been agreed by and between the parties that all court proceedings pending and instituted by and against the parties shall forthwith be withdrawn,” the letter added.
SRC suspended the ZC board in June over allegations of electoral malpractices and financial misappropriation in a move that was deemed as “government interference” by the world cricket governing body.
The ICC had given a directive that the board should be reinstated by October 8 for Zimbabwe’s membership to be reviewed.
If SRC had not reversed its decision, Zimbabwe’s membership was set to be terminated at the next ICC meeting in October, if the suspension had been sustained.