ZC breathe fire!... cricket body castigates disastrous Chevrons

Zimbabwe Cricket chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani

ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has threatened to revoke contracts of non-performing players as part of a raft of efforts to address the free-fall the senior men’s team finds itself in following defeats against Namibia, Uganda, Ireland and missing on two World Cup appearances.

The Chevrons missed out on the ODI World Cup in India last month and lost out on the T20 World Cup which will be held in West Indies and United States next year.

Speaking during a marathon no-holds-barred ZC consultative forum that attracted cricket stakeholders at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday, ZC chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani said coaches have come and gone, but the players always get away with murder.

“We fired Heath Streak (the late) here for failure. We fired (Lalchand) Rajput. (Steve) Mangongo was fired. Coaches have been fired here, but there is one constant; the same number of culprits in the change room. It’s a constant that doesn’t change. So, we need to face it head-on and be honest because our domestic (league) cannot be the reason why we lost to Uganda,” Mukuhlani said.

“Uganda doesn’t even have a domestic (league) so we are comparing apples with mangoes. So, this group of players needs to be accountable and we have to make that happen. It just can’t happen that we have a bunch of players who do not take this game seriously and I really loved the win by the girls.

“They won against the same weak teams that we were with in Namibia and they just showed that we are just a cut above the rest. It doesn’t matter where we are thrown, it doesn’t matter how much we get, we don’t belong to this league, and they made it clear that we don’t belong to this league.”

Mukuhlani added that there is need to reboot the cricket operations to start anew.

“I think we should collapse the cricket function putting the right personnel in the right positions. We have assumed that everyone was going to be professional, but that’s not it,” he said.

“We are shooting from the dark in terms of our cricket and we have rewarded handsomely non-performance. We pay it every month. Non-performance is paid for at ZC from the cricket side. Non-performers actually negotiate for good cricket at ZC and they are given an ear, they are listened to, they are given a place on the table.

“The national team players negotiate for a qualifiers contract before they qualify, before they go to play they negotiate for a contract for that tournament and we have allowed this to continue.

“We have to have a complete paradigm shift in terms of our cricket side. We just have to have that complete paradigm shift, but here is the problem that we have as administrators, as executives.

“The same people sitting in this room, when we go hard on cricketers, they will be hand in glove when we want to deal with these players, they play politics with that. They join forces with the same cricketer and this is what they are telling you, we must remove the board. We need to be honest and allow management; they are clear on what they must do.”

The ZC supremo said that administrators needed to make hard, but informed decisions in order to save the game from further embarassment.

“I have been working with them (administrators) for the last four years when they were on controlled funding with the ICC. These guys would account for every penny and I can assure you that system is there today, they account for every penny, but not one single cricketer is accountable for whatever they do.

“I hear the issue of our domestic (cricket) is weak; yes, I will be the first one to raise my hand to say yes, it is weak. I hear about the weaknesses in the structure and I will be the first one to agree that the structure is weak.

“But make me understand that someone without even a contract, someone who loses to our Under-25s dumbs people who play in the IPL, CPL, BPL, PSL out of the World Cup and these guys walk like models. They walk like models coming back to this country without shame. They have no shame, absolutely no shame, those are the players that we have, they are not accountable for anything.

“They are accountable for nothing because they are very clear. When they lose enough times, the coaches will be fired and they will remain with their contracts. They are preparing for Christmas on a US$6 000 salary, US$7 000, US$8 000, they have no shame. We are an ATM for them. We have to have a paradigm shift but that paradigm shift must be sponsored by the stakeholders. A lot of you who sit here have ghost accounts to insult the board.

“So, if the true sponsors of the game who have been invited today tell us today to go and recall the contracts, it will be done tomorrow and we will fix it properly because we know what is right. We know what can be done and we are willing to do it but we need to be sponsored properly to go and do what is right.

“We need to make the hard decisions for us to move forward because it can’t be right but we go in circles yet we know this.”

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