The rebels are back!

Darlington Majonga

HEATH Streak might today bounce back to the national fold, ending 10 months in the wilderness following a rebellion by Zimbabwe’s senior white players against his dismissal as nation

al team captain, IndependentSport can reveal.


Other rebels, among them Stuart Carlisle, Craig Wishart, Raymond Price and Trevor Gripper, could also today sign contracts that will effectively end the rebellion, according to reliable sources.


If Streak agrees a contract with Zimbabwe Cricket, he effectively ends the stand-off four days after promising all-rounder Andy Blignaut signed a deal and was immediately rushed back into the Zimbabwe “A” squad facing Bangladesh “A” in Kwekwe.


Zimbabwe Cricket officials refused to shed light on the issue, but the sources said Streak might join the Zimbabwe squad in South Africa for two Tests.


Streak as well declined to discuss the issue, only hinting that an ad hoc committee set up to reconcile the rebels and Zimbabwe Cricket might reveal the “positive developments” today.


“I can’t really disclose much, but there will be a press release from the ad hoc committee tomorrow (today),” Streak told IndependentSport yesterday. “I can only say there have been very positive developments.”


Earlier in the week Streak did not hide his desire to return to the national team as soon as possible when he talked to this paper.


“At this stage I can’t say yes or no, but there’s no doubt we want to come back, which is why we’ve been involved in talks to resolve our differences with Zimbabwe Cricket.”


Streak dismissed claims that the rebels had demanded three-year contracts and non-taxable salaries as a prerequisite for their return to the national fold. He however stressed Zimbabwe’s selection policy had remained the sticking point, although he admitted he was not personally affected by the policy.


“It doesn’t affect me individually but I stood up as captain on behalf of the players with genuine concerns that we wanted addressed,” he said.


The star all-rounder, in the strongest hint that his return was imminent, pledged support for his successor, Tatenda Taibu.


“I will give Tatenda my best, I’ll give him 100% support,” Streak said. “My major concern is that cricket for future generations is safeguarded.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that South Africa’s all-rounder Shaun Pollock has withdrawn from today’s opening one-day international against Zimbabwe with an ankle injury.


Pace bowler Andre Nel, who also played in the 4-1 series win over England, is doubtful because of a hamstring injury.


However, captain Graeme Smith confirmed he would play today despite a persistent ankle injury.


“The ankle’s pretty sore at the moment and I have to have cortisone injections. We’re struggling to work out exactly what the problem is, but it’s pretty much certain that I’ll play in all three matches in the series,” he said.

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