Just as Zimbabwe seek to restore credibility after the sacking of coach Heath Streak and captain Graeme Cremer, several top players have opted out of the triangular series against Pakistan and Australia over unpaid wages.
Streak and Cremer were dismissed after Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the World Cup, and this high-profile series, due to start on 1 July, was intended to be the first step on the road to redemption.
Zimbabwe Cricket published a squad list of 22, which omitted Cremer, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams, who have all declared they will not play until wages – going back several months – and match fees for the Sri Lanka tour are paid.
Several players in that squad may also withdraw if they do not receive the money owed to them by their 25 June deadline.
The entire series was put in doubt, but it appears Zimbabwe Cricket are determined to go ahead, even with a weakened team.
Cricket website Cricbuzz quoted an anonymous player as saying: ‘It’s the same old story. No one knows what’s going on and it seems it’s every man for himself. Guys are not interested in talking about it. You know how it is, guys get their arms twisted behind the scenes and get scared. Hopefully it all works out, we’ll know in a few days what is happening I guess.’
Raza had chosen to play in the Global T20 Canada instead of the tri-series, but his future hangs in the balance as Zimbabwe Cricket have reportedly withdrawn their No Objection Certificate, without which he would not be able to play.
Squad: Cephas Zhuwao, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Tarisai Musakanda, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Elton Chigumbura, Malcolm Waller, Brian Chari, Peter Moor, Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Murray, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Prince Masvaure, John Nyumbu, Ryan Burl, Brandon Mavuta, Rugare Magarira.
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