• Zimbabwe Cricket responds to Raza’s online rant

    Zimbabwe Cricket responded after batsman Sikandar Raza publicly questioned their decision to not offer him a contract.

    Raza expressed frustration on social media after allegedly being rejected for tours of South Africa and Bangladesh later this year.

    ‘As a matter of policy, we do not discuss employee issues in the media beyond making the necessary announcements. But when one deliberately misleads the unsuspecting public or makes patently false allegations that seek to tarnish the image of ZC and bring the game of cricket into disrepute, we, unfortunately, have to deviate from the norm,’ read a statement from Zimbabwe Cricket.

    ‘For the record, we can confirm that Raza was not among the players offered new central contracts. This decision was made solely by ZC’s contracts committee and not by the acting managing director, Mr Givemore Makoni, as Raza alleges in his posts.

    ‘However, what Mr Makoni has done in the past – and Raza knows this – was to help Raza’s career by having him play for Southern Rocks which Mr Makoni was managing while he also supported Raza’s move to get Zimbabwean citizenship.

    ‘Raza also knows what he did resulted in him not getting a new ZC contract. Normally, contracts are a confidential matter between employer and employee, but because Raza has gone public we are also having to respond publicly.

    ‘First, Raza had a contract with ZC which he brazenly flouted by going to play club cricket in England without first obtaining a no-objection certificate (NOC) from ZC as is the standard practice in the professional game worldwide.

    ‘Secondly, when he did apply for a NOC, which was turned down because Zimbabwe needed his services, Raza subsequently and unilaterally terminated his running contract with ZC so he could play in a domestic tournament in Canada.

    ‘When considering who to offer a contract, the contracts committee does not only look at an individual player’s statistics, fitness and performances, but also one’s attitude, discipline and commitment not only to ZC but more importantly to Zimbabwe.

    ‘Unfortunately, Raza did not tick all the boxes and so the contracts committee decided he was not deserving of a contract this time round. The available contracts were awarded to other players who have consistently shown their professionalism and desire to represent their country.

    ‘That said, players without central contracts – and Raza is now one of them – are always considered for national duty at the discretion of the national selection panel that also looks at several factors before picking a player.

    ‘Raza is aware of what is now inconvenient to him but it is still the truth. However, instead of engaging ZC over his concerns as was suggested to him by the national teams manager, he opts to create a storm in a teacup by mounting a social media publicity stunt meant to portray ZC, its board, management and staff in a bad light.

    ‘It is unfortunate that this sideshow is coming at a time when the International Cricket Council and ZC are finalising a plan not only designed to return ZC to financial and cricket health, but more importantly one that also embraces all cricket lovers, including players, fans, families and communities.

    ‘While we understand Raza’s disappointment at not getting a new central contract, we wish to remind him that ZC, as the custodian of the national game of cricket in Zimbabwe, has the prerogative to make decisions to take the sport forward.

    ‘One of those cannot be to give a central contract to the same player who unilaterally and insolently terminated his old one.’

    The Pakistan-born batsman has played 10 Tests, 85 ODIs and 28 T20Is for the small African country. He averages 38.10, 34.50 and 14.14 in the longest, intermediate and shortest format of the international game, respectively.

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    Jonhenry Wilson