REBEL cricketers this week abandoned a tribunal set up to iron out their differences with Zimbabwe Cricket because they no longer trust the International Cricket Council (ICC). The dissent
ing players, however, said they would only return to national duty if ICC recommendations, among them the need to rein in two administrators, are fully embraced.
“We felt it was pointless to continue with the dispute resolution tribunal because we had lost faith in the process and we have no confidence anymore in the ICC,” Chris Venturas, the rebels’ legal adviser, told IndependentSport yesterday.
The rebels also cited unmanageable costs as the other reason for withdrawing from the tribunal, set up in July to resolve differences between the players and Zimbabwe Cricket over team selection, clashes involving senior administrators and the reinstatement of Heath Streak as skipper.
Venturas said a different ICC panel specifically set up to investigate the rebel players’ racism allegations against some Zimbabwe Cricket administrators had been wrongly timed and “caused more problems than were there”. The racism inquiry last month absolved Zimbabwe Cricket of any wrongdoing but still made some recommendations on the way forward.
“We concurred the racism inquiry needed to be re-done, but the ICC refused our suggestions. We wanted local arbitrators who understand the territory and the matter on the ground to handle the inquiry,” Venturas said.
However, batsman Stuart Carlisle, speaking on behalf of the rebels, said they would be prepared to resume national duty if Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka reined in some administrators as per ICC recommendations.
“It’s high time Peter Chingoka was man enough and did the right thing. He has to ask two of his directors to step down,” Carlisle said, in apparent reference to Zimbabwe Cricket board members Ozias Bvute and Macsood Ebrahim.
Venturas said his clients hoped an internal inquiry would bring to an end the eight-month standoff and see the rebels returning to the national fold.
“It’s up to the ICC to make sure the cricket union makes an undertaking to honour the recommendations. Otherwise right now I honestly feel what is needed is an internal solution to the problems. There is need to talk,” Venturas said.
“We have to map the way forward for the good of the game. At least we are happy Zimbabwe Cricket is now being closely watched.”