By Eddie Chikamhi
THE Zimbabwe men’s cricket team was expected to arrive in Ireland yesterday, but their female compatriots are not sure if they will be able to make the tour this weekend. The Lady Chevrons are expected to leave tomorrow, but the tour now hangs in the balance because of an impasse between the Sports and Recreation Commission and suspended Zimbabwe Cricket board members.
In a negative development that has left operations hamstrung, the suspended board members are accused of intimidating workers to stay away from work and there are fears ZC may not be able to meet logistical and administrative deadlines with the International Cricket Council to make the Ireland tour successful.
The Lady Chevrons have lacked provisions during this week’s preparations and there are reports that the office staff and the players currently on tour in Ireland have not been paid their monthly salaries.
Sports Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa yesterday said the situation is yet to normalise at the ZC offices and accused the ousted board members of sabotaging the smooth-running of operations.
A security guard at the premises told Mlotshwa in a recorded interview that office workers had instruction from the suspended board members not to come to work.
“It is not without coincidence that staff continue not to return to work despite clear messages from both the SRC and the interim committee that they should do so. The absence from work on Monday has severely compromised the ladies (team) preparations for their tour of Ireland.
“There continues to be a clear and deliberate effort to sabotage Zimbabwe Cricket by some of the suspended ZC officials. A formal police report has now been made regarding these shenanigans.
“It appears that every effort is being made to frustrate an enquiry into the financial affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket, key amongst these issues being the assessment of a debit of some US$2.8 million on ZC’s account with a local banking institution with historical ties to it.
“The police have been alerted to this issue as well as it is clear that no co-operation will be forthcoming from those with knowledge of the details and reasons for this historical debit,” said Mlotshwa.
The ZC board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani was fired last Friday for defying a directive to suspend a planned elective AGM, among a host of other allegations.
Meanwhile, the Chevrons were expected in Ireland yesterday from Netherlands.
The European tour was already planned and will not be affected in a big way by what is happening back home.
The team, which is going through one of their darkest phases of international cricket, had a difficult outing in the Netherlands.
As if the frustration of missing this year’s World Cup currently underway in England was not enough, the Chevrons struggled for good returns in the recent tour.
They suffered the humiliation of a 2-0 whitewash at the hands of the minnows Netherlands before fighting back to level the T20I series 1-1 in a final match that had to be decided via a super over.
Source : The Herald