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Tri-Series in jeopardy as cricketers issue ultimatum

The Chevrons have threatened to boycott the upcoming triangular series with Australia and Pakistan if their issues concerning outstanding salaries are not met.

By SportBrief Reporter                                                         

It never rains but it pours for Zim cricket, with the ZC Board once again in the spotlight, this time in the form of an impending fallout with the national team cricketers over unpaid salaries.

The nationally-contracted players have launched a joint confrontation of ZC over unpaid salaries, match fees and bonuses, through their lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa.

In a letter addressed to ZC and copied to both the Ministry of Sport and the ICC, Mlotshwa gave ZC until noon on Wednesday (May 16) to provide a written undertaking as to when the outstanding money will be paid.

The players are reportedly owed match fees dating as far back as their tour of Sri Lanka in July last year, and have not received their salary for the past two months. For some players, this equates to more than USD 60,000 per individual.

“There has been no lawful explanation, or justification, whatsoever as to why these amounts are outstanding, and more importantly, when exactly the said amounts, many months in arrears, will be paid,” read part of the letter.

“The stance adopted by ZC is unprofessional, unconscionable and indicative of serious underlying governance and financial management shortcomings impacting on the solvency and going-concern status of Zimbabwe Cricket.

“Each of our clients demand written undertaking, on or before 12 noon, Wednesday 16th May 2018, from Zimbabwe Cricket as to precisely when all amounts due and payable to them shall be paid in full. Failure to do so will, apart from our clients pursuing such legal remedies as may be available to them, place into serious jeopardy the upcoming Triangular Series in July 2018.”

The letter, which was written on Wednesday (May 9) and received by ZC the following morning, goes on to say that the players’ next actions will depend on ZC’s response, and warns against attempts to intimidate the players.

ZC’s ability to pay the outstanding salaries received a blow two weeks ago when their request for an advance from the ICC fell on deaf ears. It is thought that the next significant inflow of cash may only come with their next ICC disbursement in July.

This news comes off the heels of a pending lawsuit issued to the ZC Board by former coach Heath Streak, batting coach Lance Klusener and fitness coach Sean Bell over the manner of their recent dismissal after the Chevrons failed to qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

On top of that the board is currently under fire after having accumulated a massive debt reportedly amounting a staggering $19 million dollars.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Kazembe Kazembe weighed in on the matter, calling for the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to carry out “an urgent financial audit of the finances and general corporate governance of Zimbabwe Cricket”.

“We asked the SRC to get to the bottom of the issues that have been raised, issues to do with the performance, the firing of the technical team and other related issues like the debt that everyone is talking about, the USD 19 million debt,” Kazembe told reporters.

“We would want to find out how that debt came about and why ZC finds itself in this situation, obviously with a view to finding lasting solutions. We are perturbed as the government and we have tasked the SRC to institute a commission of inquiry and also to ensure that there is a forensic audit carried out in the interest of the nation.”

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