The Sunday Mail
JUST like in a match, all eyes are on the big screen, a big decision is pending.
Is Zimbabwe Cricket in or out?
After months of playing and missing, edging and timing, blocking, leaving and appealing, the verdict is upon us.
The International Cricket Council will hold a board meeting tomorrow in Dubai.
Zimbabwe Cricket’s fate will be decided by the game’s global body.
But, how did it come to this?
The Tavengwa Mukuhlani led ZC board, including acting managing director Givemore Makoni, was suspended by the Sport and Recreation Commission amid accusations that they had violated the association’s constitution by going ahead with an elective Annual General Meeting against the backdrop of alleged irregularities on finances and the elections nomination process.
This suspension was deemed ‘government interference’ by the ICC.
Subsequently in July, ZC became the first full member to be suspended from full membership by the ICC.
During the suspension period, Zimbabwe has not been able to participate in any ICC tournaments.
As a result, two senior national teams missed out on their respective World T20 qualifiers. The women were replaced by Namibia for the qualifier played in Scotland last month, while the men will be replaced by Nigeria in a tournament slated for later this month. During the suspension period, ZC has also not been receiving any funding from the ICC, a move that has affected players and staff whose salaries come from the international body’s financial injection.
At the conclusion of the World Cup in London in July, ICC then set conditions for ZC’s reinstatement, chief amongst them being the reinstatement of the ZC board by October 8.
Read part of the letter from ICC to ZC: “Should you wish the ICC to reconsider your suspension, you are required to take all relevant steps to ensure that the Board of Zimbabwe Cricket elected on 14 June 2019 is unconditionally reinstated forthwith and, in any event, no later than 8 October 2019 so that the ICC Board can review the matter when it convenes on 12 October 2019 for its next meeting. “You are also required to provide satisfactory evidence to ensure that the Zimbabwe Cricket will administer its affairs free of external interference and influence.”
On August 8, the SRC lifted the suspensions on the board and Makoni.
Now, the decision is pending.
A meeting to resolve the Zimbabwe issue has been scheduled for Monday.
Despite the anxiety associated with waiting for such a big decision, cricketers from all levels are confident that their beloved game will be back this week.
The Under-19 national team has been training and playing games.
The Alistair Campbell Academy, which is set to play in the domestic season when everything returns to normalcy, has also been training diligently.
In Harare, the premier club cricket league, the Vigne Cup, is in Week Four, while franchise teams have been conducting running sessions.
Indeed, the SRC and the ZC found each other. The ball is back in the ICC court.