The 10th has come to pass


THE much publicised 10th has come and gone and surprise, surprise, the players strike is still on.

Some really questionable events have transpired over the last couple of days and the question remains; where to now?

Even when or if the money does come, will the players and board ever trust each other?

I recall a speech from Kumar Sangakkara when he had a serious go at his board after he had lost the captaincy under unclear circumstances. Is this the normal relationship between boards and players, to be constantly at logger heads? A storm is brewing in England where the board is at pains to explain why Kevin Pieterson has been axed. A story for another week.

The point is there are problems everywhere, but how you solve them goes a long way into creating long lasting relationships.

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) made it very public that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had given them a loan to pay off the dues to players that had culminated in a strike bringing the game to its knees.

The date was almost cast in stone as even the electronic media broadcast the news.

To kick-start the season and show the world that all is back to normal a Twenty20 (T20) inter-franchise competition was organised to take place in Harare this past Monday.

The players through their representative Eliah Zvimba were told that all is well and all payments would have been done by then.

Maybe more importantly coach Andy Waller was happy that finally he would get some practice ahead of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh next month.

The teams travelled to Harare on Sunday night only to learn that the money was still not there. The players stuck to their guns and left the venue, back to their homes after many impromptu meetings failed to yield any meaningful results.

On the Crease would love to know where the date “10th” came from. Later the position was changed to ten working days.

Why make such rush decisions without adequate information?

Money is a very sensitive subject and I can sympathise with the players after travelling for so long to then be told the bad news. If the money was not there on time why did the powers that be not stop the teams from travelling?

More money going down the drain. The bad blood just got a lot worse and from this point on, all negotiations will be done in bad faith.

The players also pointed out that only some, not all as promised last week, were given travelling allowances. I was informed by a reliable source that the ICC approved the loan, but did not at any stage discus dates with ZC.

In a situation already dire maybe the powers that be must wait till they have the money in their hands before making any more promises that they can’t keep, as this will only serve to widen an already huge gap.

Neither side can afford another indiscretion especially at this crucial moment when the world is watching. The only hope is that the next move will be the right one for the love of the country and cricket.

  • Petra High School hosts its annual T20 competition tomorrow and on Saturday. The school deserves all the compliments for the great job it has done in making sure it puts on an excellent show every year.

There are eight schools taking part in the tournament.

Defending champions Prince Edward will once again start as favourites.

Other schools are Kyle College, Churchill, Eaglesvale, Petra, Milton High, Christian Brothers College and Hellenic.

As successful as the hosting of the tournament has been, many would like the success to spill onto the field of play. It is about time that a team from outside Harare wins the tournament.

Milton High School appeared to be going well last year before a shock semi final loss. All roads lead to Petra and I will be there to give you all the spills and thrills.

The tournament is a small haven for the selectors who have the rare chance to see most potential players in the same place at the same time.

I had a meeting with Themba Phiri the sports director at the school and he said it was all systems go as far as the preparations were concerned and all that was left was for the players to deliver over the two days.

He encouraged people from the city to come and watch quality school cricket. Entertainment and catering will be available throughout the day.

  •  The Under-19 side have given something positive to Zimbabwe Cricket with a warm up victory over the mighty Australians. What a welcome relief! Zimbabwe chased down the 195 target with three wickets and nine balls to spare. Zimbabwe must use this momentum going into the competition proper and surely believe they can win against anyone.
  • This week’s letter is “G”. Gully: A close in fielding position at about a 450 angle on the batsman’s off side.