ZIMBABWE’S cricket players have put on hold the signing of new contracts as they seek clarification over the exchange rate to be used in determining their foreign currency-pegged remuneration.
The players had agreed to have their salaries pegged in US dollars, but would be paid in Zimbabwe dollars based on the auction rate system, which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has since abandoned. The players now want revised contracts to take into account the interbank exchange system the central bank has adopted.
“It’s not the union’s fault and it’s not the players’ fault,” said the players’ representative, Clive Field.
“We have now sought urgent dialogue with Mr Wilfred Mukondiwa (Zimbabwe Cricket) human resources general manager. He has undertaken to discuss the issue with the relevant authorities.
“So at the moment were waiting for clarification on that issue. That was the principal issue behind those revised contracts.
“Besides that, nothing has really changed since the players made that statement. Signing contracts was the basis on which the players could engage the union in any discussions.
“The players still maintain their position. They have said they want to see movements and issues of governance being addressed. It’s now up to the provincial chairmen to engage the board on those issues. The players have said they will not play if the issues are not addressed. I hope something will be done so that we avoid taking that route.”
Field added that national team captain, Tatenda Taibu, was still concerned about his safety after he was threatened by Themba Mliswa after a news conference last week.
“He is extremely disappointed and worried,” he said. “Mr Mliswa has gone on to personally attack Tatenda in the press, citing underperformance on Tatenda’s part.
“Clearly that is not true. If you look at the facts, Tatenda has been playing very well. He is regarded as a world-class leader in the world of cricket. I don’t think it’s helpful for Mliswa to attack him. It raises the temperature. It reinforces the concerns that were addressed in the public statement. If we needed a proof of his misconduct, I think he has done that.”