Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THE battle for the control of Zimbabwe Cricket took to another level yesterday after Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa entered the fray together with cricket administrator Lazarus Zizhou and gave the board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani seven days to resign or they form a parallel structure in running the game.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Mliswa who was flanked by Zizhou and Cromen Zinyama, who are members of the Push Committee that has been formed to lead the onslaught on the ZC board, said Mukuhlani’s administration should step down.
This follows the sacking of the national team coach Heath Streak and all the members of the coaching staff.
Streak was shown the exit after he failed to meet his contractual obligation to lead the team to the ICC World Cup 2019. Mliswa said they are giving the board until next Friday to leave office as he believes the sacking of Streak and convenor Tatenda Taibu was “unjustified.”
A meeting with all provincial representatives has been scheduled for this Sunday where they hope to drum up support and draw up a document to be presented to the Minister of Sport and Recreation Kazembe Kazembe.
“The firing of Streak, Taibu and company is unjustified and is merely a cover up for the shortfalls that the ZC board are responsible for.
‘‘Given my position as a cricket lover and as a Member of Parliament, I decided to heed to the call of my constituents and give them a platform to speak from.
“I never pick a fight that I lose. Cricket is close to my heart. I am passionate about it. As a passionate cricket lover I join in the call for action to be taken to save our sport.
‘‘I reiterate the cry that the board must go. Failure by the ZC board to resign in seven days we see us creating a parallel structure. We will be more than happy to approach His Excellency to be the first patron of this board.
“If there are over 110 political parties in this country why can’t cricketers come together and set up their own cricket union where our patron will be President Emmerson Mnangagwa?
‘‘Nothing can stop you from that, it’s a democracy. The SRC is empowered to have associations joining them.
‘‘The seven days that we are giving them they will be playing cricket on their own, they will be watching cricket on their own. We shall call citizens of Zimbabwe to boycott any international matches played by these people until they are gone,” said Mliswa.
He claimed successive boards had been made up of people with no cricket background. He also charged that corruption and maladministration had been left unchecked for too long and urged the SRC to suspend the board and pave way for the rewriting of the constitution.
“We need the right people, I have never seen the Zimbabwe medical board which is not made of doctors, I have never seen the Law Society which is not made of lawyers.
‘‘Cricket is the only board which has non-cricket people and you can imagine the disaster that is there.
“The board has repeatedly failed to heed the calls for reform and refused to listen to advise and guidance,” said Mliswa.