Tue, December 11, 2018
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Zimbabwe Cricket: Not all clouds have a silver lining2 min read

On September 20, former Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak submitted a legal application against Zimbabwe Cricket to the High Court in Harare. The eight-page court document pleads for Zimbabwe Cricket board to be dissolved in order for the board to pay its debts. More erratic times are approaching. Shrinking, sacking, dissolving, etc. From the ICC to a certain High Court in Zimbabwe, the turn of events is as such that the Cricket is at stake. The last three years might have been witness to the causes of this eventuality. The end was near but we might have been looking at the intermittent yet non-consequential highlights, and hoping.


The Timeline


Brendan Taylor led the Zimbabwean side in the one-off home Test against Bangladesh played in the year 2011 which marked their return to Test cricket, a format Zimbabwe had not played in since 2005.

In the year 2015, Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor had announced his retirement from international Cricket and signed a three-year Kolpak deal– a deal that made him ineligible to play international cricket for Zimbabwe- with Nottinghamshire. At that time, not only was he the captain but also their leading batsman. With 433 runs at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, he set a new World Cup record for Zimbabwe. Taylor was the only batsman in the top 10 run-scorers list whose team didn’t make it out of the group stage and was paid just $250 for playing at the World Cup despite being one of the top batsmen in the tournament. 


Zimbabwe played their 100th Test match a little less than two years back, in October 2016. The then Zimbabwean captain Graeme Cremer had scored a hundred, his first, in that match. It was only the second such instance wherein the captain scored a century in the team’s 100th Test match. The only other captain to share the same record is New Zealand’s Bevan Congdon whose 126 had come against West Indies in March 1972, which was New Zealand’s 100th test match.


In November 2016, after having to stand at the receiving end of a series of umpiring blunders, Zimbabwe finally got to lay their hands on the Decision Review System. The DRS had finally made its highly anticipated debut in Zimbabwe midway during their home series against Sri Lanka. “I think the DRS is good and it’s fair for everyone because it can negate the element of human error,” Heath Streak commented on the development. “Obviously, anyone can make a mistake, but the less of those that have an influence on the game the better.”


On 14 September 2017, Taylor terminated his contract with Nottinghamshire to return home to Zimbabwe. It was then announced that Taylor had decided return home and play for Zimbabwe for personal reasons.


On 30 March 2018, Zimbabwe Cricket sacked its entire coaching staff along with captain Graeme Cremer following an unsuccessful World Cup qualifier campaign, to which Zimbabwe was the host. ICC’s much-condemned World Cup shrinking stratagem had found it’s biggest victim after all. The Zimbabwean media suggested that Brendan Taylor might take over the captaincy of the team


The Zimbabwe Cricket Supporters Union (ZCSU) had called for the immediate surrender of Zimbabwe Cricket board quoting a number of complaints, in July 2018. Their grievances included the board’s inability to offset a $19 million loan owed to a local bank. “We feel the board that you lead has failed to properly run and manage cricket in Zimbabwe and we call upon you to do the noble”, ZCSU chairperson, Tapfumaneyi Banhire had written in his ultimatum to the Zimbabwe Cricket board.


Now that ex-coach Heath Streak has formally accused the Zimbabwe Cricket board of illegally terminating the contract of the coaching staff and listing the amount that the board owes to them, ZC could face added legal actions, such as disciplinary actions against them. There’s a big possibility that ZC will have to liquidate in order to pay back the debts and there’s no denying that Cricket in Zimbabwe is going to have a massive fall.

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