Tatenda Taibu, the former Zimbabwe captain and convener of selectors, has urged all the country’s cricketers to stand together against the administrators.
He encouraged senior players and juniors from his academy to join with Brendan Taylor, who is trying to organise a players’ union to ensure fair treatment and secure unpaid wages and tour fees.
Taylor is one of five senior players omitted from a squad of 22 due to meet Australia and Pakistan in a triangular T20 series, starting 1 July. Zimbabwe are also scheduled to tour South Africa for three ODIs and three T20s in September and October.
The five, including former captain Graeme Cremer, batsman Craig Ervine and all-rounders Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams, have declared their availability but insist they must first be paid their wages and tour fees from the recent Sri Lanka series.
Taibu, who was sacked along with coach Heath Streak and Cremer when Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, says Taylor – who ended a Kolpak agreement to return to Zimbabwe last September – is being targeted for resurrecting a players’ union.
In a series of tweets, he challenged Zimbabwe’s senior players – in particular Elton Chigumbura, Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha – to play a leadership role.
‘When are you ever going to stand up for principle? When are you ever going to show youngsters the right way?’ he wrote. ‘Surely you can’t tell me that you haven’t been seeing what’s been happening. Earn some respect for standing for the right thing.’
Pointing directly at Masakadza, he said: ‘Hamilton has a chance to do something credible by rallying the troops to stand with @BrendanTaylor86. Let’s see how he wants to be remembered by the cricket world.’
To the younger players from his academy, he urged: ‘I never taught u to be divided. I taught u principal. @BrendanTaylor86 needs u 2 stand with him.u’re the ones who’ll benefit from his stand. If u’re divided, u’ll finish your career and have nothing to show 4 it.’