By Mehluli Sibanda
Zimbabwe Cricket has approached the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe seeking permission to pay its workers, who include national team players, in foreign currency.
ZC employees have not been paid since June and acting managing director Givemore Makoni said funds for salaries came from the International Cricket Council about two weeks ago.
The money, which covers employees’ salaries from June to October, is being held by the ZC bankers as the cricket mother body awaits direction from the RBZ on which currency the funds will be disbursed.
“We have approached RBZ to give us permission to receive the money in United States dollars. It came in that currency, we have given them all the documentation, so we continue waiting to hear from the RBZ.
“The workers know what is happening, the money has been around for almost two weeks now,” said Makoni.
ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani recently stated that they will seek direction from RBZ since there were changes to the country’s monetary laws.
Since October last year, ZC employees had been receiving their salaries in US dollars.
ZC has foreigners among its employees and one of the reasons for pushing forex wages is to keep salaries of national team players competitive. ICC sent the money following the lifting of Zimbabwe’s suspension in October.
The world cricket governing body had withheld funds when Zimbabwe’s membership was suspended in July after the ICC deemed that action taken by the Sports and Recreation Commission to suspend the ZC board in June amounted to government interference in the administration of the sport.
On the delayed start of the country’s domestic season, Makoni said they were still waiting for funds from the ICC, with hope that action will get underway during the second week of December.
“We are likely to start second week of December as funding for domestic cricket is on its way from the ICC,” Makoni said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Under-14 national side picked for the Momentum Cricket Week in South Africa scheduled for December 7-11 in Pretoria, start their training camp in Harare today.
Indications are that there is likely to be one change to the travelling squad of 13 that was announced after trials held in October.
In South Africa, the Zimbabwean youngsters will play the declaration 20-over and 50-over formats during the five-day event.
Zimbabwe Under-14s will face KwaZulu-Natal Inland in their first match on Friday, take on Mpumalanga and then clash against South Western Districts.
Their next fixtures will be decided on a strength-versus-strength basis, as determined by performances in the first three days.
Also in camp is the Zimbabwe Under-19 squad that is preparing for the 2020 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup to be staged in South Africa.
The final squad of 15 players for the tournament will be announced on Saturday. The Chronicle