ZCU to lose $200 million

Itai Dzamara

ZIMBABWE has lost an opportunity to rake in a whopping $200 million following the last-minute cancellation of the two-Test series against Australia.



Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) managing director Vince Hogg confirmed the union had lost out on a fortune but could not commit himself on the amount.


“The ZCU was set to benefit immensely from the Test matches through television rights,” said Hogg. “But the figures are very confidential. I can’t comment on the figure you have heard.”


Insiders at the cricket union said the ZCU raked in about $200 million from the Test matches between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka recently, and would have realised about the same amount if Test matches against Australia had gone ahead.


“The Test matches are the union’s cash cow,” said a source within the ZCU leadership ranks.


“The Tests against Sri Lanka earned the union about $200 million. That is generally what was expected from television rights alone. Added to this would be other income obtained through merchandise, for example.”


The ZCU was forced to call off the Test matches against Australia last week after failing to make peace with 15 senior white rebel players. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had issued an ultimatum compelling Zimbabwe to field a “credible and competitive squad” against Australia.


Five of the rebel players left the ZCU in a quandary after turning down their inclusion in the team to face Australia, a move that led to the abortion of the lucrative Test series.


Following the stand-off with the senior players, Zimbabwe had fielded a severely weakened and largely black squad that was nowhere near a match for Sri Lanka’s superiority in both Tests and one-day internationals before Australia jetted in for their tour.


Australia has said the postponed Test matches against Zimbabwe can only be rescheduled after four years, amid growing fears the ICC might decide to strip Zimbabwe of its Test playing status.


Zimbabwe attained Test status 12 years ago.


Analysts fear the game of cricket faces death in Zimbabwe should the ICC boot the country out of the 10-member Test elite, suffocating financial returns that have been the ZCU’s livelihood.

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