Zimbabwe Cricket chair elected Zanu PF MP refuses to leave game

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBAWBE Cricket (ZC) board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani has dismissed calls for him to step down in the wake of his election as Zanu PF’s Member of Parliament position in Mhondoro-Ngezi during last month month’s harmonised elections

There have been calls for Mukuhlani to step down from his position at the local cricket controlling body as his continued involvement would lead to the politicization of the country’s second biggest sporting discipline.

The Bulawayo-based pharmacist however, said there was nothing wrong with him continuing to serve both as ZC board chairman and an MP.

 “Very much so, I will continue to be the chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket,” Mukuhlani said on the side-lines of a recent joint Press briefing with the International Cricket Council chief executive officer David Richardson.

“Zimbabwe Cricket is not a parastatal; it’s a hobby, it’s a sports, it’s a passion there’s no conflict of interest I will continue in my role. In fact, our patron is the first politician in this country,” he said.

Former Sports Minister David Coltart lamented the increase in the number cricket and football administrators seeking political office during the upcoming harmonised elections saying it is detrimental to the development of the country’s two biggest sporting codes.

“It’s very clear that cricket has become completely politicised and my argument as minister and now has always been that we want to cricket administration and selection to be dominated by people who know and love the game,” Coltart told recently.

“In other words, people with international or first-class cricket experience not politicians. That’s why I have never sought office in Zimbabwe Cricket because I feel that would make the organisation too political.”

Meanwhile, ICC chief executive officer Richardson revealed that the world cricket governing body and ZC had agreed on a strategic business, financial and cricket plan to breathe new life in the domestic game.

Richardson, who was in the country last week accompanied by the ICC chief financial officer Ankur Khannadeal, held meetings with ZC officials over the latter’s financial problems as well as a debt which is around US$20 million

This plan needs to be presented to the ICC Board at its October meeting.

“The meetings were extremely valuable, I think we made a lot of progress in putting together this plan on a collaborative basis which we will present to our board in October and hopefully they will see that Zimbabwe cricket can be viable,” Richardson said at a press briefing held in the capital.

He added: “I want to emphasise that this is not a meeting where we have solved all the problems and suddenly we can go away, and everything is hunky-dory.

“No, it’s going to take a lot of work; it’s going to take working with the whole cricketing community in Zimbabwe.

“The meetings were very frank and very helpful, but I emphasise again it’s only the start; we still got a long way to go.

“We used the words Zimbabwe Cricket is in survival mode. For the next two years we plan to have an activity list, not even a strategy, but a list of activities that we need to do, and we will tick them off one by one and get through them.

“But at the end of it I am certainly confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel and Zimbabwe Cricket will hopefully be something that the whole of Zimbabwe can be proud of.”