Newly-appointed Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) managing director Faisal Hasnain has called for drastic changes in the way cricket is run in the country, if there is to be recovery both on the field and finances.
The former International Cricket Council chief finance officer, who replaced Wilfred Mukondiwa in one of many administrative changes at ZC, is expected in the country next week having worked from Dubai since his appointment.
In an interview carried by cricbuzz this week, Hasnain addressed many issues particularly to do with the organisation’s finances and plans of tackling the crippling US$20 million debt.
What is key for him is total change in the running of the finances and change in both the domestic and international structures of the game.
“I think I know where the problems lie,” says Hasnain.
“You have to change that entire culture within ZC — change the way the finances are run, the governing structures, the cricketing structure both domestically, as well as internationally. We can start by making progress on all those fronts. It’s almost got to be starting with a blank sheet of paper and saying, ‘Okay, how would we like ZC to be organised in terms of the secretariat? What should be the structure?’ Similarly on the domestic side — again a clean sheet of paper, and looking at best practice. How do we benchmark ourselves with the Australian domestic season — or the English or Indian domestic seasons?”
He wants to see more money channeled in the direction that can improve results.
“No doubt the financial situation is the biggest obstacle we are facing, but if over the next three to four months we are able to somehow reach an understanding with the banks, the ICC and other member boards, we can then plan our finances accordingly and see how we can spend money in the areas where they can be spent — mainly in order to improve the performances of the team.”
Among other changes that have already been effected, support and administrative staff had their salaries cut by between 10 and 30% last month as the organisation moved to cut its US$6 million a year wage bill.
He applauded the return of coach Heath Streak and convenor of selectors Tatenda Taibu which he believes is a step in the right direction.
“ZC has made moves which suggest it is trying to turn a corner and leave certain things behind,” he adds.
“Bringing back Heath Streak and Tatenda Taibu, employing people like Makhaya (Ntini) and myself. I also attended a strategy session in January which I thought was run very well. The board and the management, the coaches and technical team all seem to be committed to moving forward, which is one of the reasons why I was willing to take the job.
“Without that it would be impossible for an outsider like myself to come in and run the organisation.”
The Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led board has made a lot of progress in trying to restore functioning structures, as well as strengthening the national team which has been struggling.