Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
JUST as Zimbabwe Cricket are preparing for D-Day at the International Cricket Council annual conference underway in England, Edward Rainsford has declined his election into the board that was recently suspended by the Sports Commission.
Rainsford announced his position through his lawyers Samukange and Hungwe Attorneys.
The former international cricketer was elected in absentia at the annual general meeting in Victoria Falls last month.
He was one of five new faces on the 13-member board on the basis of his specialist skills.
However, his lawyer Tafadzwa Charles Hungwe yesterday wrote to suspended Zimbabwe Cricket boss Tavengwa Mukuhlani declining the nomination and subsequent election.
Hungwe said Rainsford, who has since shifted to the commentary box, was not formally approached and has turned down the post.
“Our client advises us that at the annual general meeting of Zimbabwe Cricket held on the 14th of June 2019, he was nominated as a board member/director in terms of section 35 (4) of the Zimbabwe Cricket Constitution.
“While the nomination was done in his absence, our client has not received any formal appointment and consequently has not accepted such nomination.
“Our instructions are that, Mr Edward Rainsford respectfully declines the nomination/possible appointment into the Zimbabwe Cricket structures as he is pre-occupied with other cricket-related commitments at the moment.
“In the circumstances, kindly take note of our client’s wishes in relation to the aforementioned issue. We believe this should formalise our client’s position,” wrote Hungwe of Samukange Hungwe Attorneys.
The June annual general meeting resulted in a huge rift between ZC and the Sports Commission, who had apparently sent a directive for the indaba not to be held.
Mukuhlani was unanimously retained as ZC chairman for his second four-year term with Sylvester Matshaka as his deputy.
The other board members elected on the day included Tafadzwa Madoro (Harare Metropolitan), Godwin Dube (Bulawayo Metropolitan), Ronald Chibwe (Mashonaland West), Godfrey Nyadongo (Manicaland), Fiona Ndlovu (Matabeleland North), Arthur Maposa (Matabeleland South) and Bornface Machuwaire, Lincoln Bhila, Maureen Kuchocha and Lloyd Mhishi.
The Sports Commission reacted by suspending the entire board.
A new interim executive, led by veteran David Ellman-Brown, was appointed to run the affairs of the domestic game until next year.
This was despite the overhanging fears that these actions could be interpreted as interference by the ICC, who have since given a stern warning that Zimbabwe could face sanctions, which include expulsion, if found on the wrong side.
The ICC last month cut off funding for Zimbabwe Cricket until they make their own determination at their annual conference currently underway in England.
Sports Commission board chairman, Gerald Mlotshwa, confirmed Zimbabwe were being represented by members of the interim committee and remained confident ZC will be able to retain its membership with the global cricket body.
“As indicated in the SRC press release of last week, the interim committee has been invited by the ICC to address it before a decision is made on the membership status of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe Cricket can only be represented by the interim committee. ICC has suspended funding of Zimbabwe Cricket pending the outcome of its deliberations precisely because it appreciates that the authority running Zimbabwe Cricket is the Interim Committee.
“If the fact were otherwise, funding would not have been suspended, nor would the interim committee be travelling to address the ICC board regarding the country’s membership status,” said Mlotshwa.