Zimbabwe Cricket not to renew staff contracts amid radical financial restructuring

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Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has decided not to renew the contracts of “almost all” of its staff members when they expire at the end of August this year amid the serious financial woes faced by it that led to the players and staff being unpaid for a while.

The governing body of cricket in Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a major financial strategy overhaul during the times when it is getting a shot in the arm in the form of funds released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the financially-ill cricket body.

The board said that the player contracts will be reviewed and agreed upon next week. “This strategic planning process is under way and needs to incorporate plans to ensure that the competitiveness and strength of domestic cricket and the high performance cricket pathway is at least maintained,” the board said in a statement.

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“The domestic season will start in November and the staff complement required will by that time have been defined and agreed to suit the ZC cricket strategic direction. These are tough times and tough decisions are required to preserve cricket in Zimbabwe,” reads the statement.

The move comes after ICC has decided to intervene and help the cash-strapped board after their annual conference in June. Unlike other member countries that receive two annual payouts, funds for ZC will be released as and when needed to prevent over-expenditure and help manage its substantial debt.

Under this measure, the ICC approved a release of funds earlier in the month to pay outstanding player salaries, which have been four months overdue.

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The unpaid and mounting dues led to five prominent players – Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Sikander Raza, Craig Irvine and Sean Williams – sitting out the T20 triangular series against Australia and Pakistan and five-match ODI series against Pakistan. Taylor had committed himself to “getting back to work” once payments are made.

The board will now be gearing up for their next series in South Africa, consisting of three ODIs and three T20s, starting from the end of September.