Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani has welcomed the resolution by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which will see Zimbabwe getting an improved financial package of $94 million under the global organisation’s new revenue-sharing model.
The ICC, at their recent meeting, voted to change the distribution of revenue from a four-year cycle that covered World Cup to World Cup, to a new eight-year cycle beginning 2016 to 2023.
The ICC Board, by an overwhelming majority, passed the new financial model during meetings held in Dubai late last month.
Mukuhlani said under the revised revenue distribution model, Zimbabwe will now get $19 million more than the country would have previously received over the eight-year period.
Based on current forecast revenues and costs, India will get the biggest chunk of $293 million across the eight-year cycle, while England follows on $143 million.
The remaining seven Full Members get $132 million each, while Zimbabwe will receive $94 million.
“This is a welcome development. We really need funding for our programmes. I am sure it’s not only a boost for Zimbabwe but for other Full Members as well.
“Under the previous system, we should have been getting $75 million for the eight years but it has increased significantly. I am sure it will go a long way.
“Money can never be enough with all the obligations that we face, but it will certainly change the outlook,” said Mukuhlani.
Zimbabwe Cricket also revealed they have put in a bid to host the 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier, a cricket tournament meant to decide the final qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England.
The top two teams at the qualifier event will join the eight teams, who will have already qualified for the World Cup through their ranking in the ICC ODI Championship.
The 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier was originally scheduled to take place in Bangladesh, but this is likely to change as Bangladesh appear certain to qualify automatically for the prestigious 50-over tournament.
Zimbabwe will contest for the rights against Scotland and Ireland, who have submitted a joint bid.
“We stand a good chance to host this tournament because we are a Full Member and we have better facilities. Remember we have hosted World Cup matches before and I’m sure we have the infrastructure and facilities that are quite capable of having a flawless event.
“It will be a massive boost to the cricket in Zimbabwe if we are to win the bid. We also have an advantage that we have the best weather in comparison to the other nations that have lined up for this bid,” said Mukuhlani.
The ICC also agreed on a new constitution, which will work towards getting more nations playing Test cricket; equal weight of votes for all board members regardless of membership status and bringing in an independent female director.
The originally proposed changes to the constitution included a clause that opened the possibility of Full Members being relegated to Associate status.
But under the revised version that will be presented to the ICC annual conference for adoption in June, the potential for reclassification of full membership was removed, with the ICC Board acknowledging the need to sustain and grow the number of members competing at the top level.
The revised constitution was approved by 12 votes to two.
This took into account the board’s feedback following extensive discussion at their February meeting and further input from the working group.
According to a statement from the ICC, the constitution reflects good governance, expands on and clarifies the roles and objectives of the ICC to provide leadership in international cricket.
Sports Minister Makhosini Hlongwane, while welcoming the significant revenue increase set to come into the ZC coffers, said it was also important that results on the field improve.
‘’Bumper cricket results are also needed,’’ said Hlongwane.
The minister also said their diplomatic initiatives, which has seen them travelling to Pakistan, also played a big role in ensuring that Zimbabwe Cricket would not be short of friends who would fight in its corner in the boardroom so that the game continues to get a fair share of funding.