Zim loses US$800 000

Itai Dzamara

THE Zimbabwe Cricket leadership has requested a meeting with their England counterparts to discuss the issue of about US$800 000 lost in television and advertising revenue following the controve

rsy that preceded the ongoing one-dayers.


One of the five one-day international matches between Zimbabwe and England was cancelled following a row over the accreditation of 13 British journalists.


Zimbabwe Cricket acting managing director Ozias Bvute this week said the union would be meeting the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to discuss the issue.


“We will meet the ECB soon to discuss this matter and deal with it in an amicable and professional manner. I can’t confirm the amount lost but it is from TV rights and advertising,” Bvute said.


Sources at Zimbabwe Cricket said the cancellation of one match of the series, initially scheduled to consist of five one-dayers, led to some sponsors and advertisers pulling out while a re-planning of television coverage was costly.


The ECB has reacted to some suggestions that it is responsible for the financial losses by blaming the political handling of the accreditation of the 13 British journalists.


A standoff between the Zimbabwe government and the England delegation over the refusal by the former to accredit 13 journalists from the British mainstream media resulted in a delay on the arrival of the visitors. The team, which was in South Africa, only arrived in Zimbabwe on the day the first match had been scheduled to begin, forcing a cancellation.


Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo had refused to accredit the 13 journalists from England and it was only after the intervention of Zanu PF information secretary Nathan Shamuyarira that they were allowed to come and cover the tour.


International sports television channel Supersport, which plays the vital role of beaming events all over the world, had to pull out of the ongoing matches between Zimbabwe and England following the chaos.


Bvute said Zimbabwe Cricket was trying to normalise things so that Supersport covers the two matches to be played in Bulawayo tomorrow and on Sunday.


Zimbabwe lost the first two one-dayers played in Harare and the visitors look set to complete the controversy-ridden tour with a whitewash of the hosts.