By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukhuhlani says there will be no victimisation of players perceived to have been in support of the Sports and Recreation Commission’s decision to suspend his board June this year.
The decision resulted in the country being suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Senior national team players such as former captain Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza publicly supported the decision by the SRC to suspend the Mukhuhlani-led board in posts on social media.
They went on to hit out at the ICC when the world body suspended the country over alleged government interference in the sport due to the SRC’s decision.
Raza was subsequently dropped from the Zimbabwe side which toured Bangladesh and Singapore recently under mysterious circumstances while Taylor was also overlooked for the captaincy following Masakadza despite being the most senior and consistent player in the team.
Speaking to the media for the first time since the ICC lifted the country’s suspensio,n Mukhuhlani allayed fears that players who had openly supported the decision to suspend his board would face retribution.
“We’ve never operated on the basis of victimisation for starters,” Mukhuhlani told reporters at a press conference in Harare on Thursday.
“Zimbabwe Cricket belongs to Zimbabweans of all colour and creed who are welcome to Zimbabwe Cricket. They are stakeholders; we don’t operate on the basis of stokeholders as stakeholders at Zimbabwe Cricket. We are all part and parcel of the organisation. So, there will be no victimisation of any sought.”
The cricket administrator and politician said he was worried that any decision by the selection panel against any of the players based on form would be deemed as victimisation.
“You have to understand that when someone is dropped after this episode, they’ll feel victimised. But again victimisation can be a state of mind, if you believe that you have been victimised, then you can see victimisation but if you know my stats are not good enough; I don’t deserve to be in the team, then you go to the nets you don’t talk of victimisation,” he said.
Mukhuhlani however said that players should stay away from off-field issues or the politics of the game in an apparent warning to local cricketers.
“First of all players must be players; they must not be politicians. They must be kept out of the off-field issues. That should be the standard but then when players are dragged into boardroom issues, then you’ve got a problem,” he said.
“So from our end as Zimbabwe Cricket, we must never involve players in boardroom issues and from the side of government, that should also never happen. Players should remain players and administrators should remain that.”
Mukhuhlani said the impasse between the SRC and ZC had created divisions within the national team camp and his organisation was working hard to ensure there won’t be a recurrence in the future.
“We are well aware of the cracks that did emerge in the changing room during this impasse and we are working hard ensure that it doesn’t get deeper. I’m happy that during and after this impasse, I’ve been in touch with the senior players and having them to understand where we’re coming from and where we’re going.
“Part of that process is that as we go forward its important that players are well informed of the goings on within Zimbabwe Cricket so that they don’t get to hear issues from third parties because they (issues) may be misrepresented and they (players) may decide to take a wrong side,” he said.