9 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Mliswa Challenges Cricket Board Representation

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on sport chaired by Hurungwe West MP Themba Mliswa has challenged Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to take a re-look at their constitution saying it has loopholes in terms of provincial representation.

The parliamentarians said there was a feeling that the current provincial representation in the ZC board had a bearing on the sport, once labelled "elitist", by not spreading it to other parts of the country, particularly rural areas.

The current ZC board consists of 13 members. Six of them are elected by the Electoral College which comprises 10 provincial chairpersons. Seven members are then elected by the same Electoral College to join the six to bring the total number to 13.

However, the parliamentarians felt that the seven representatives were not enough, hence the suggestion of a re-look into the constitution.

Responding to this, ZC chairperson Peter Chingoka and his vice, Wilson Manase said what they were doing was above board as it was in line with the constitution.

"Section 24 clearly states that the board should consist of 13 members, six of which are selected by the Electoral College on merit of experience in finance, legal background or cricket management while the other seven are elected not to represent provinces as such but the whole nation," Manase said.

Mliswa said ZC was to blame for what he called racism in the sport as they were the ones who continued to accommodate white players in the team.

"We have black players and coaches who are capable in this country, why would we want to continue accommodating white players if you think they are not patriotic? I have it on good authority that you have brought back into the team some players who donned the black bands at one point as a sign of disgruntlement. Why don't we use our own if these guys are giving you problems?" asked Mliswa.

Chingoka was quick to defend all the current players saying none of the players in camp was part of the (black band) protest team.

"We had two players who donned the black bands during that time and it was Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, only.

"What we have in camp are young boys, most of them products of our franchise programmes which have started paying dividends," Chingoka responded.

In another development, International Cricket Council is set to unveil funding in the range of US$2,5 million to ZC which would see the resumption of activities at the beleaguered association.

All the parliamentarians however, applauded ZC for keeping the sport afloat in hard times.

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