By Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe national cricket team players have slammed the decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to suspend the country from international cricket citing “government interference” in the running of the domestic game.
Zimbabwe was on Thursday suspended by the ICC after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) ousted the cricket board last month before installing a temporary leadership.
Although SRC says the move was meant to rid the local game of corruption after allegations of misappropriation of funds, the ICC viewed it as government interference, which is against the world body’s rules.
The ICC which is demanding the reinstatement of the previous Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led ZC board said it was also freezing all funding to the southern African country until October when they will meet again to reconsider Zimbabwe’s status.
Zimbabwe is due to play in World Twenty20 qualifiers in October but its participation now hangs in the balance.
National cricket team senior players Sikandar Raza and former captain Brendan Taylor were chief among many to voice their concerns over the punitive ICC decision, saying this was tantamount to putting many people out of their jobs at once.
Raza took to Twitter to point out how ICC’s ‘one decision’ would have far-reaching effects on a number of families and careers whilst adding that going by the decision he could have already played his last international match.
“How one decision has made a team strangers. How one decision has made so many people unemployed. How one decision affects so many families. How one decision has ended so many careers. Certainly not how I wanted to say goodbye to international cricket. @ICC”: Raza wrote on Twitter.
His teammate, Taylor too retweeted Raza’s comments and also made a separate post on his own account alleging that the decision was ‘heartbreaking’.
Taylor has not hidden his support of the SRC’s decision to suspend the ZC board amid allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds.
“@ICC It’s heartbreaking to hear your verdict and suspend cricket in Zimbabwe. The @ZimbabweSrc has no government back round yet our Chairman is an MP? Hundreds of honest people, players, support staff, ground staff totally devoted to ZC out of a job, just like that”: wrote Taylor.
Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry said she was disappointed that the ICC’s decision would negatively impact the careers of players before denying allegations of government interference in the game.
“I am devastated that the @ICC ruling has affected our @ZimCricketv players. There is need for good governance at ZC for the international success we all want to see. Any decisions towards that should never affect the players. Minister of Sport elects SRC board (ICC do not see this as Gvt interference). SRC is not Government – they are a public body. I am meeting with both men’s and ladies’ captains today,” Coventry wrote on Twitter.