ZCU given 14-day ultimatum

Itai Dzamara

ZIMBABWE’S chances of bouncing back into Test cricket hinge on its ability to find a solution to the impasse between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and 15 senior players.

ONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday gave the Zimbabwe Cricket Council (ZCU) 14 days to resolve the standoff with fired 15 senior players. The ICC upheld Zimbabwe’s suspension from Test cricket at an annual general meeting in London.

Zimbabwe’s crisis topped the agenda at the ICC annual general meeting that began on Sunday and ended yesterday.

A statement released by the ICC soon after the meeting yesterday stated that matches involving Zimbabwe against Pakistan and England later this year will be devoid of Test status. Only One Dayers will be played.

Depending on the outcome of efforts at finding a solution to the ZCU/players rift, the match against Bangladesh scheduled for January next year could be accorded Test status.

“The full ICC board has endorsed the recommendation by the sub-committees that Zimbabwe’s Test matches against England and Pakistan in October and November this year will be deferred to a later date,” the ICC statement said. “They will play One Day Internationals. South Africa and India will send their A sides to play Zimbabwe.”

The Zimbabwe issue was divided into three, with the second subject being the rift between the ZCU and players.

“The ICC has now provided the ZCU and the players with 14 days to resolve the crisis,” ICC President Enson Mani said. “If there is no solution from the parties, the vice-president Percy Sonn and the president will make a final decision on whether the ICC dispute resolution process will be applied to this situation.”

The ICC dispute process involves the appointment of officials by the international association to look into the matter and could include the virtual suspension of the concerned member state from all ICC affairs.

The third subject discussed on Zimbabwe centred on allegations of racism.

“Eminent persons will investigate allegations of racism and the ICC will soon be consulting them,” the ICC statement said.

Efforts to obtain comment from the ZCU on the outcome of the ICC deliberations were unsuccessful.