After the storm, the clearance now begins
Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, remained in Dubai to deal with the logistics related to the resumption of funding for the country’s second biggest sporting discipline.
This follows the lifting of the suspension, which had been imposed on Zimbabwe Cricket, by the International Cricket Council leadership at their board meeting on Monday.
The ICC had frozen all funding to ZC, after the suspension on alleged government interference, in the wake of the Sports Commission’s decision to suspend the board led by Mukuhlani.
This virtually left domestic cricket in limbo with players and staff not being paid for three months.
However, the funding is now set to resume.
“Funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will continue to be on a controlled basis as part of a collective effort behind getting the game in Zimbabwe back on an even keel,’’ the ICC said in a statement.
Mukuhlani remained in Dubai to work out the logistics which will now see the players and staff getting a relief as they receive salaries for the first time in months.
Players like Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza welcomed the ICC decision.
And, it appears, it was also a popular decision across the global cricket family.
“The concrete news emerging from yesterday’s ICC meeting in Dubai, most notably the lifting of Nepal’s membership together with that of Zimbabwe, was universally positive,’’ Betrus de Jong wrote on Cricbuzz yesterday.
“Beyond the restoration of Zimbabwe and Nepal’s membership, the notable news emerging from the meeting was the ICC’s stated ambition to increase the number of flagship global events to one per year for both the men’s and women’s games, looking to put on eight men’s events and eight women’s events over the course of an eight-year cycle, as well as four U19 events for each.
“Equally notable was the suggestion that allocation of hosting rights would move toward a more open bidding model, hinting that the monopoly that England, Australia and India currently hold may not be permanent.
“Other decisions included abolition of the boundary count-back rule in case of a tied Super Over at ICC events, an increase in prize money for flagship women’s tournaments, and the reappointment of Indra Nooyi as independent director for another two-year term.
“Of rather more direct relevance for Associates was the approval of the US$30.5 million revenue distribution to Associate Members for 2020, ticking up by 12% on 2019 as the new competition structure goes into full swing.
“Malaysia and Uganda were confirmed as hosts for the second rounds of Challenge Leagues A and B respectively, the former scheduled to be in the third week of March at Kuala Lumpur, and the latter starting in late July at Kampala.
“Nepal and Zimbabwe coming in from the cold, the latter after a suspension of three months, the former provisionally reinstated after over three years in limbo, was widely expected on both counts.
“Naturally, the announcement has been broadly welcomed in both countries, though in Zimbabwe as sense of relief is matched by a degree of pessimistic resignation.
“The lifting of the suspension comes too late for Zimbabwe to contest the T20 World Cup Qualifiers which begin this week in the UAE, Nigeria having been invited to take their place as the third African nation.’’ — The Herald/CricBuzz