Zimbabwe Cricket Opposes Coltart Order

ZIMBABWE Cricket has broken its silence on the controversial Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) directive requiring all national sports associations' selection panels to consist only of ex-national players.

In a letter to the SRC director general Charles Nhemachena, ZC managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa pointed out that the new directive crafted by Sports minister David Coltart was not in line with the cricket body's constitution and enforcing it requires an amendment, which cannot be effected before February 1 deadline.

Mukondiwa questioned the SRC's directives which he argued were tantamount to government interference which is against the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules.

ZC has maintained its silence over the controversy for the last two weeks but raised concern yesterday. It argues that the directive would derail the process of integration as there are not enough non-white former players available to take up posts in the selection panel, thus if implemented the committee would comprise an all-white team of selectors.

Mukondiwa said some of the current selectors never played for the national team because they were not afforded opportunities, but they had contributed to the development of some of the national team players and it would be unjust to discard them.

The SRC is currently consulting associations over the directive.

Part of Mukondiwa's letter reads: "The constitution of ZC is registered with the Sports and Recreation Commission in terms of section 29 of the SRC Act (Chapter 25:15. Subsection (7) of the section provides that the constitution or rules or amendment as the case may be do not come into effect until they are registered in terms of section 29. The constitution of the ZC having been duly registered is effective and binding on the ZC and its stakeholders.

"The board of ZC has in terms of its constitution, registered in terms of the Act appointed a national selection committee made up of two independent selectors, one of which is a convener. The national head coach is also a member of the committee.

The captain of the national team is also involved in the selection but has no voting rights. The effect of the directive is to require ZC to amend its lawfully registered constitution so as oblige the board to stipulate the qualifications of the convener as required by the directive without amending the constitution will not be competent.

"There is presently no cause for the amendment of the constitution except the directive. Implementing the directive without amending the constitution would be acting unlawfully."

Mukondiwa further argued that the directive would complicate the contract that currently binds ZC with the selectors they cannot replace.

Makoni and Wayne James sit on the panel but the former lacks international playing experience.

"In terms of the Act, it does not appear that the Commission can require a national association to amend its constitution in such a manner as to determine the persons who shall take particular positions."

Mukondiwa also argues the SRC does not have the power to prescribe qualifications of office bearers.

"It is a known fact that the game of cricket until about 2004 was largely a minority sport. Deliberate steps were taken to integrate the sport and achieve a multi-racial composition in the playing of the sport of cricket at all levels...Because of the position described above, there are not enough persons of multi-racial mix eligible and available to be appointed as national selectors if the directive were to be implemented."

Contacted for comment Nhemachena said he had not seen the letter since he was out of office.

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