Cricketers to lose cars

Darlington Majonga

THE honeymoon is over for Zimbabwe’s underperforming cricketers. For a long time they led a charmed life in which they were pampered with twin-cab trucks, huge salaries and perks that only

company executives could dream of.


That is over now as Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has decided to crack the whip and pay the players according to their industry.


Information to hand shows that junior players in the national team were receiving up to $150 million a year excluding match fees while seniors were bagging on average $300 million per annum. The salaries including match fees and allowances came to $250 million for juniors and $600 million for seniors.


ZC has decided to hit the players’ pockets to induce them to perform better. Underperformers will be going hungry.


“We can’t allow the rot to continue. We are shortchanging our partners as well as losing fans, and this can’t continue,” a ZC director told IndependentSport last night.


“It had become a one-sided relationship with the players getting full salaries but giving nothing in return.”


Only skipper Tatenda Taibu, his vice Heath Streak and all-rounder Andy Blignaut have been offered negotiated national contracts, while 27 other players have been given performance-based prescribed contracts.


“In keeping with international trends, not all the top players in the country will be given national contracts, which are offered to those players with impeccable records,” ZC said in a statement last night.


“Only three players – captain Tatenda Taibu, his deputy Heath Streak and Andy Blignaut – have been offered the national contracts.”


ZC said the 30 players in the two categories will be paid stipulated monthly retainers, but stand to augment their earnings from the new incentive structure. Only 15 players will be given cars out of the 30 who have been enjoying the benefit.


“We will give only 15 players cars on the basis of seniority and performance. But all them will get basic fees. If they want more, they will have to perform,” ZC human resources manager Wilfred Mukondiwa said. “We want to make selection more competitive so that players can deliver.”


The union said it had also identified eight young potential stars who will be offered cadetships. “They will be attached to companies on the basis that they will be allowed to tour if selected,” ZC said in the statement.


The players’ representatives this week held marathon meetings with ZC following uncertainty over the new deals.


Speaking to IndependentSport earlier this week, players’ representative Clive Field said ZC had communicated to the players that it needed time to draw a legally binding performance clause for the new contracts. The players were however said to be anxious to have the contracts which expired on Wednesday renewed.