Zim Cricket starts afresh

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Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has cleared its debts courtesy of a financial injection from world governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Kevin Mapasure

The latest development will see the financially struggling administration get breathing space after several months in the red, crippling operations.

ZC will put measures in place to reduce its expenditure following advice from the ICC and at least 60 players will be removed from the payroll to leave ZC a lean unit of just 40 players.

The cost-cutting measures will see the dissolving of Masvingo-based franchise Southern Rocks, reducing the franchises to four.

ICC chief executive officer Dave Richardson was part of the team that came to Zimbabwe last month.

ZC has been receiving favourable support from the ICC having also benefitted from a World T-20 grant, advance payment to alleviate the association’s financial woes which threatened Zimbabwe’s participation at the global showcase.

But the funds might have come a little too late with Zimbabwe travelling to Bangladesh for the World T-20 without enough preparation which culminated in their exit in the preliminary round.

Zimbabwe got a US$3 million advance payment for their participation.

The association’s debt had risen to US$18 million with most of it owed to banks where they were accessing loans to keep the game afloat.

The ICC successfully negotiated with the banks for reduced interest rates before clearing the debts.

ZC’s financial fortunes are also set to improve thanks to the triangular series that Zimbabwe will host against South Africa and Australia in July, at the back of the Test match against the Proteas.

With the 50-over World Cup on next year ZC can expect close to US$10 million and having cancelled their homes series against Sri Lanka last last year due to financial problems, ZC should not encounter such challenges in hosting Pakistan, the West Indies and New Zealand in June, July and October respectively next year.

According to the Future Tours Programme, Zimbabwe will tour Bangladesh and Pakistan in October and December this year before the February World Cup followed by a visit to Sri Lanka.

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