Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
LEADING local cricket umpire Langton Rusere has become the latest victim of the ban imposed on Zimbabwe Cricket by the International Cricket Council after his name was dropped from the panel of the officials for the series between West Indies and India.
The month-long tour begins with a three-match T20I series this Saturday followed by three One Day Internationals and two Tests.
Rusere was one of the umpires short-listed for the tour along with Englishmen Nigel Llong and Richard Kettleborough and Australians Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker.
The 34-year old Zimbabwean umpire, who has made huge steps in the international cricket umpiring in the last few years, was supposed to stand in, at least, two ODIs during the tour.
This was his first big appointment in a bilateral series featuring powerhouses of international cricket but he received a call at the weekend to drop the plans of travelling to the Caribbean Islands.
“He cannot go because he falls under ZC, which has been put under suspension by the ICC,’’ sources revealed.
“That means, just like the players and other staff, he cannot participate in ICC-sanctioned events.
“This has been communicated to him. He was also set for the Caribbean Premier League in September. His air-tickets and itinerary had been confirmed but we are not sure what will happen next.’’
Rusere was not immediately available for comment yesterday.
Rusere made history last year when he became the first Zimbabwean umpire to stand in the final of a major global cricket tournament as one of the on-field umpires for the Women’s World T20 final between Australia and England.
The ICC have ordered that the suspended ZC board, led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani, should be reinstated, within three months, pending a review of their decision, to suspend Zimbabwe’s membership, in October.
However, it appears the battle for the control of Zimbabwe Cricket is not letting up after the interim committee, appointed by the Sports and Recreation Commission, yesterday gave the organisation’s office staff an ultimatum to return to work on Thursday or face the chop.
Interim managing director, Vince Hogg, yesterday also dismissed the communication that has been released from the office via the suspended board’s spokesperson, Darlington Majonga.
“Zimbabwe Cricket has instructed ALL its employees, save those suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission, to report for work on 1st August, 2019.
“Those employees continuing not to report for work will be deemed to have repudiated their employment contracts subject to the ensuing legal and /disciplinary consequences.
“Employees are further instructed to bring in their laptops and other office equipment by the said date.
“Employees and the public are advised to ignore fraudulent press releases purporting to emanate from Zimbabwe Cricket.
“No such press release has any legal authority unless it bears the undersigned’s signature or the signature of the chairman of the interim committee. Please, be guided accordingly,” wrote Hogg.