Zimbabwe may be strengthened on their tour of South Africa after the ICC agreed to help settle a pay row with senior players.
The national team lost several senior players who refused to make themselves available until outstanding wages and match fees had been settled.
This led to Zimbabwe fielding a weak and inexperienced team in five ODIs against Pakistan, a series they lost 5-0, among several other ODI records. At no stage were the Zimbabweans even remotely competitive – their least damaging outcome being a 131-run defeat in the final ODI.
Pakistan even had to delay their flight to Bulawayo at the start of the series because Zimbabwe Cricket could not pay the hotel bill.
The ICC has confirmed the release of funds to enable the Zimbabwe board to pay outstanding dues owed to its players and staff, including the players’ match fees. This payment, announced via a ZC release, is part of the ICC’s package of measures to help the debt-stricken board get back on its feet.
‘Payment plan proposals will be discussed and communicated to all outstanding creditors once this process has been concluded,’ the release said. ‘This brings welcome relief to the current staff and players and is the first step in the recovery process of cricket in Zimbabwe to its former health and strength.’
Zimbabwe are scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20s in a tour starting in late September.
The remaining question is whether the errant players will be welcomed back, or whether they will want to return.
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