ICC backs Zimbabwe

This was said by the ICC chief executive officer Malcolm Speed at the end of a fact finding mission in Harare on Tuesday after meting with both the ZC board and the stake holders.

The Zimbabwe government, through the Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, will appoint seven board members in ZC according to the draft constitution and Speed said that it was not unusual to have the government involved in the administration of cricket.

However the ICC delegation said that they would not divulge the greater part of the meeting details and that it would only be going to the board to make appropriate recommendations.

“We do not determine how cricket is run in any of the countries as each country has their own culture in running the game.

“In Pakistan the president appoints the president of the cricket association in Bangladesh they have a similar set up and in Sri Lanka for the past 10 years the government has been appointing the boards. “So it is not unusual for the government to have influence in cricket.

“It is apparent that Zimbabwe cricket is going through a difficult time and it is good that we held a meeting with the interim board and listened to their plans.

“They also have a good understanding of ICC’s position and the trip was worthwhile. I saw the draft constitution on Sunday night.

“We want to see Zimbabwe playing in the four-day games against other teams and be it the A teams they have to be strong.

“We even recognise that Zimbabwe is going through a difficult time as they are rebuilding and have a young side,” said Speed.

President of the ICC Percy Sonn added that they are going to hand over their recommendations to the ICC board which will announce a resolution on Zimbabwe’s future in the near future.

The outcome, Sonn said, would be determined by how the team would be playing and there is going to be a special team of analysts that would be involved in the decision of the outcome.

“We saw for ourselves on what has been happening and we held good meetings with the stakeholders and we were briefed on the situation and we will make recommendations to the ICC board over the issue.

“We are going to make recommendations to the ICC board represented by all the full members and three associate members including Zimbabwe who are a full member represented by chairman Peter Chingoka,” said Sonn.

The ICC president said Zimbabwe would only play test cricket when they “tell us that they are ready to resume.”

“Zimbabwe is still a full member and they have their test status it is only that they requested for time to resume test games and this is just a brief interruption.

“We (the ICC) shall give Zimbabwe Cricket all the support they need and we will also ask the other members to come in where they can help Zimbabwe.”

ZC interim chairman Peter Chingoka said that they were working round the clock to ensure that the team plays other games that would make sure that they return to playing test cricket by next year.

“We are playing other games that are different from the future tours programme and depending on the both our and other teams calendars we will be looking for opportunities to play other teams.

“At the end of August the interim committee’s term of office will be expiring but we are still aiming at next year to resume playing the test games.

“We have a young team that still needs a lot of exposure and we have put in a supportive programme and a number of measures that would see us playing the longer version of the game by next year to reach our target,” said Chingoka.

The ZC chairman also clarified on the issue of captaincy. “The reason we removed (Terrence) Duffin from captaincy is because earlier on this year we decided to appoint a caption on a tour by tour basis because we are trying to create a balance in both batting and bowling.

“Duffin is also more used to the longer version of the game and we saw it fit to change captaincy and it is also up to the selectors because there is one or two things they will be looking for.

“He was captain (Duffin) against Kenya and West Indies and the two (Duffin and Utseya) have played together in the past three games,” said Chingoka.

August 2006
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