TAYLOR SENDS SOS TO AUSSIES THE ENGLISH
Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
BRENDAN TAYLOR has issued a passionate appeal to the Australian and English cricket authorities appeal to the International Cricket Council to reconsider their decision to bar Zimbabwean cricketers from the ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers.
The Aussies, the English and the Indians are the three most powerful cricket bodies in the game.
Both the Chevrons and Lady Chevrons were thrown out of the final qualifiers for next year’s ICC T20 World Cups because of a ban imposed on the country by the world cricket controlling body.
The women’s side was replaced by Namibia for the qualifying event that takes place in Scotland later this month while the Chevrons were replaced by Nigeria for the ICC T20 World Cup qualifying contests set for next month in the United Arab Emirates.
The ICC decision came at a time when the Sports Commission and the suspended Zimbabwe Cricket board members have been having fruitful meetings, to resolve their impasse, amid expectations a resolution could be announced as early as tomorrow.
It appears, despite all the signals that have been coming from the ICC, including the decision to throw out both the Chevrons and Lady Chevrons out of the T20 World Cup qualifiers, there could be some positive movements happening underground.
Yesterday, the Bangladesh Cricket Board retained Zimbabwe on their schedule for the T20I series, which is also set to feature Afghanistan, in yet another demonstration that the meetings being held here could be having a positive effect.
Initially, the Bangladeshi cricket leaders had said they will only play against Afghanistan, following the ban imposed on Zimbabwe Cricket, but yesterday they were signing a different story.
The tri-series is from September 13 to 24.
The double-league phase will be played in Dhaka and Chattogram, with the final to be held in Dhaka on September 24.
“We are holding the tri-series as planned,” BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury told Cricinfo.
“We had to wait till now for them to confirm their participation. The ICC has clearly stated that they are allowed to play against member boards.”
ESPNcricinfo has learned that additional ODIs against Zimbabwe, following the T20I tri-series, have not been ruled out by the BCB.
These matches, or even a single ODI, according to Cricinfo, could well be Mashrafe Mortaza’s farewell from international cricket, but talks of a fitting send-off are still on within the BCB.
Taylor, the local cricketer with the biggest international profile, appealed to other cricket boards to help their cause and ensure they play in the T20 World Cup Qualifiers.
“I’m really trying to fathom @ICC’s thinking behind this? It was very clear that we had until October before the next meeting in Dubai to have everything in order, progress was being made daily,’’ he said on Twitter.
‘’I sincerely wish the other world bodies would support us from a players’ perspective.
“We understand @BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India) is a powerhouse in world cricket.
‘‘We understand there has been poor governance for a number years in Zimbabwe cricket but I can’t understand why other power houses. @ECB_cricket (England and Wales Cricket Board) and @CricketAus (Cricket Australia) can’t influence the @ICC Chairman? Please help us!
‘‘Don’t ignore us!”
Sikandar Raza Butt also weighed in.
“Just speechless at this decision by @ICC. So, if @ICC have any more surprises for us please don’t be shy, just get them ALL out now so that we can plan our unemployed lives a bit better,’’ he tweeted.
‘‘Regards, An unemployed, frustrated and out-of-opportunities Cricketer.’’
The Lady Chevrons had resumed training last week in the hope of a quick resolution to the impasse.
They have been replaced by a team they crushed in the final of the African Women Qualifier they held at home earlier this year.
However, Sports Commission chairman, Gerald Mlotshwa, yesterday said they will not confront the ICC.
He said their mission was not to fight the ICC but to ensure they put domestic cricket in order.
“The moment we got suspended by the ICC we knew at once that it could come to this. ICC were not going to back down,’’ he said.
“However, we are not interested in fighting the ICC but in making sure that we get Zimbabwe Cricket in a good position.’’
The Sports Commission board chairman also revealed that the Sports Commission and the members of the suspended Zimbabwe Cricket board were moving towards a binding resolution to their differences.
The world cricket governing body ruled that there was “government interference” when the Sports Commission suspended the ZC board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani over allegations of electoral malpractices and financial misappropriation.
The ICC have given a directive that the board should be reinstated by October 8 for Zimbabwe’s membership to be reviewed.
Failure to do that, the ICC said, could see Zimbabwe’s membership being terminated.
Should that happen, the country will lose its Full Membership status and all the benefits, including the funds that oil the huge domestic cricket machinery, and will have to reapply to start from the bottom.
There have been a series of meetings in the past week and yesterday Mlotshwa and the ZC officials met with Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry.
“I met ZC’s lawyer Mr Lloyd Mhishi on Monday and on Tuesday there was another meeting between myself and both Messrs Mhishi and Mukuhlani.
“Today (yesterday) we met the Minister and at the moment everybody is consulting on how to formalise the matters.
‘’Hopefully, by the end of the week we will have a mutual position,” said Mlotshwa.
Sources have, however, revealed that the two parties have been finding common ground on a number of issues, including the composition of the ZC board.
Coventry brought the two parties together last week and, since then, there has been progress on a number of fronts.