National team cricket players have threatened to boycott the current Zimbabwe-Pakistan A sides series over outstanding allowances and match fees. BY Kevin Mapasure
Representatives of the players had a meeting with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) managing director Wilfred Mukonidwa yesterday where they told him to facilitate their payment, failure of which they would stay away from the match set for Monday.
The players staged a practice boycott three weeks ago over the same issue and only returned to training after they were promised that they would get their money within a fortnight.
After the time lapsed, the players yesterday sought audience with Mukondiwa, where they made their position clear that they would only play today’s third unofficial one-day international (ODI) against the tourists, but would neither go to practice nor play any more matches until they are paid.
One of their grievances when they staged the initial boycott was the delay in the issuance of this season’s contracts.
Only 16 players received central contracts, but the other players have not been given new deals and are disgruntled.
One of the players yesterday told NewsDay Sport that they had resolved as a group to cease all cricket activities until their dues are settled.
“We told ZC that we are only playing the third ODI and the series can only continue after we receive what we are owed,” he said.
“Individuals are owed various amounts ranging from allowances as well as match fees. ZC has been giving us promises for a long time without delivery. This is the only way they will take us seriously.”
With Pakistan having committed resources to send their A side to Harare, it would be an embarrassing situation if the players were to boycott the match on Monday.
The two teams are scheduled to play the fifth and final ODI on Wednesday before they engage in two four-day games.
Zimbabwe are using this tour as part of their preparations for the upcoming home Test series against Sri Lanka, set for the end of October, after which the two nations will be joined by West Indies for a triangular series.