Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Zimbabwe players have threatened to boycott the upcoming T20 tri-series against Pakistan and Australia if Zimbabwe Cricket don’t pay them the salaries and match fees they are owed by June 25.
The players are owed three months’ worth of wages and match fees, and have also yet to be paid for the tour of Sri Lanka in July last year.
In order to show they are serious, the national team have decided not to train ahead of the T20 tri-series, which will get underway on July 1. This is bad news for newly appointed head coach Lalchand Rajput, who will be arriving in Zimbabwe on June 10.
Furthermore, the players have appointed lawyer Gerald Mlotchwa as their spokesperson.
Despite what the team has done, a Zimbabwe Cricket spokesperson claimed that the situation has nearly been resolved.
“Due to a very difficult financial situation beyond its control, ZC has been unable to meet some of its obligations, including paying player and staff salaries in time,” the spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. “However, because this is a matter of top priority, ZC has been working round the clock to address the challenge and, as promised to the players by our chairman, ZC expects to start processing payments this week.”
Even though the board’s spokesperson is optimistic, there are many who feel that Zimbabwe Cricket will struggle to pay what it owed to the players since it has debts of around USD 19 million.
“It’s a complete joke at the moment,” one player, who was not named, told ESPNcricinfo. “ZC made out as though some players were injured to save face. They didn’t bother that the big-name players weren’t available, they just needed to get the games out of the way. No-one knows how things will work going forward”