Rebel players set to pack bags

Itai Dzamara

WHILE mulling a legal challenge against the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU), the 15 rebel players dismissed this week are reportedly planning to leave the country.



ce=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>IndependentSport heard from a number of the players that after the refusal shown by ZCU to accept their suggestion for arbitration, the only option was to seek greener pastures.

“We are still discussing with our lawyers and a decision is likely to be taken to file a legal challenge against our dismissal,” said a representative of the players on Wednesday. “It is possible that we will file a challenge but the position by most of us is that unless there is some divine intervention from elsewhere, the next step is leaving for greener pastures.”

This paper is reliably informed that clubs in Australia, New Zealand and England were keen to sign the rebel players.

The players had by yesterday not surrendered ZCU vehicles despite the union giving them a deadline of end of day on Wednesday.

“We still hold on to the vehicles,” said one of the players yesterday. “But not to imply that we are refusing to surrender them, we are in agreement that we should surrender them but want a few days to sort out a few things. We will definitely hand them over.”

The 15 players, dismissed by the ZCU on Monday responded by requesting the union to go for arbitration over the standoff which started four weeks ago, a request the union spurned.

“The 15 players who have been absent from work, have violated the 21-day breach clause as stated in their contracts. As a result the contracts of these 15 players have been terminated,” said the ZCU in a statement this week.

The players on the other hand accuse the ZCU of breaching contractual agreements when it announced that Streak had been dismissed from the position of captain.

They also accuse the union of making public the issue of Streak’s captaincy through the media whilst it was still under discussion. The players were also baffled by the union’s alleged portrayal of the 15 players – all white, as being racist and against racial integration.

Problems rocked local cricket when Streak made a statement on behalf of the 15 players, demanding a change of the national team selection panel appointed by the ZCU. He also castigated the quota system aimed at ensuring that at least four black players were in the national team.

In addition to Streak, the other dismissed players are Trevor Gripper, Stuart Carlisle, Grant Flower, Andy Blignaut, Sean Ervine, Raymond Price, Gary Brent, Charles Coventry, Gavin Ewing, Richard Sims, Craig Wishart, Neil Ferreira, Barney Rogers and Travis Friend.