21 February 2014

Zimbabwe: ICC Set to Bail Out Zimbabwe Cricket

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is seeking debt relief from the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the local game's mother body looks for a fresh start.

ZC's request has received a favourable response and a member of the ICC finance department will visit Zimbabwe early next month to further explore ways of which the body can further assisting the financially troubled ZC.

IndependentSport has learnt from a reliable authority that the ICC will pay off all the ZC debts and will deduct the money from Zimbabwe's yearly benefits.

The development is a follow-up to ZC's successful advance payment application which it used to pay outstanding players' and support staff salaries and allowances.

Zimbabwe is entitled to a share of the T-20 World Cup cake and will get a fee of about US$3 million after the tournament which starts next month in Bangladesh.

ZC has since been paid part of that money after struggling to meet most of their obligations in a period stretching from late last year to this year.

"The ICC has since agreed to help us so it's just a matter of exploring how they can come in," said the source. "They will pay off the debt in full then they will start deducting from our yearly grants. The money they disbursed to enable us to pay off the players is only part of the arrangement and the debt payment is the bigger picture."

ZC's coffers will also benefit from the triangular series to be hosted by Zimbabwe mid-year which will also involve Australia and South Africa.

Only the World Cups and playing against India, England and Australia are profitable ventures while all other tours are loss making.

The 2015 ICC World Cup to be hosted in Australia and New Zealand will certainly provide ZC with the windfall they need with close to US$10 million expected.

Meanwhle, Zimbabwe Cricket selectors have finally picked their squad for the international ICC Twenty-20 World Cup.

Captian Brendan Taylor will lead a 15-man squad that includes among others fellow top order batsmen Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda.

Squad: B Taylor, H Masakadza, V Sibanda, M Waller, E Chigumbura, S Williams, S Raza, T Maruma, P Utseya, N Mushangwe, T Kamungozi, S Masakadza, B Vitori, T Chatara and T Panyangara.

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