This Week in Zimbabwe (#3)

Posted by admin on April 18, 2009

It's been a quiet week in Zimbabwe with no Logan Cup matches being played over the Easter break.

ICC Task Force report

The ICC Task Force consisting of Dr. Julian Hunte (Chair), Arjuna Ranatunga and Haroon Lorgat gave their report about the state of Zimbabwe cricket. They visisted the country (Mr. Jon Long in place of Mr. Ranatunga) for 3 days in November 2008 to assess the cricket situation.

The full report can be read at the ICC's website: In total the ICC Task Force made 35 recommendations about cricket in Zimbabwe. They are as follows:

1. The strategic plan needs to be supported by clear financial calculations and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs);
2. An operational plan for 2009 and annually thereafter should be produced and any additional ICC support should be contingent on this framework being provided;
3. There should be an ongoing ICC review of the strategic plan;
4. ZC should review provincial structures to ensure they are adequate and that active clubs are integrated and provincial stakeholders have an understanding of the way the game is organised at local and national level and have formal structures to provide input;
5. It will be in the best interests of cricket in Zimbabwe for ZC to seek to re- engage stakeholders that feel they have been marginalised by the constitutional reform;
6. Review Cricket Committee composition and increase cricket expertise and experience on this Committee (including international playing experience);
7. Ensure selectors have as recent first-class playing experience as possible and involve former international players as selectors;
8. Remove Board Chairman's veto on selection;
9. Formalise the selectors' role in the process for appointing the captain by empowering the selectors with responsibility for nominating a captain and vice- captain for the approval of the Board;
10. Decentralisation of responsibilities and funding so that provinces are empowered to administer and grow the game at local level;
11. Better management records and reporting, particularly of participation numbers;
12. A comprehensive review of the ZC HPP by the ICC HP manager;
13. Schedule more domestic multi-day cricket matches than have been played in the last three seasons;
14. Schedule the first-class competition to spread out over a longer time frame than in the last three seasons;
15. Encourage and attract experienced overseas-based players to return to play in domestic first-class competition;
16. Involvement of overseas teams and/or players in Logan Cup;
17. Domestic competitions should continue when international matches are scheduled;
18. Players should be exposed to get more first-class experience before progressing to the national team;
19. ZC to introduce a policy that outlines the process for awarding player contracts;
20. ZC to continue to make concerted effort to re-integrate departed current and former players into the national team structures;
21. Zimbabwe national or representative team be given the opportunity to participate in ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009/10. The prospect of Zimbabwe's return to Test cricket in two years would be enhanced by participation in the ICC Intercontinental Cup and in first-class matches against Full Member representative sides;
22. ICC Full Member 'A' teams to commit to arranging first-class matches against Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe 'A';
23. Involvement of Zimbabwe representative sides in overseas domestic first-class competitions;
24. ICC Global Cricket Academy coaching staff to be available to provide specialist advice to the national representative teams;
25. ZC to address concerns regarding umpiring standards;
26. ZC establishment needs to improve its relationships with current and former players and prioritise the resolution of long-outstanding disputes;
27. ZC should permit players who so wish to have representatives conduct their contractual negotiations on their behalf;
28. ZC needs to recognise the role that its stakeholders play and to continue with efforts to better-involve them in the affairs of ZC;
29. ZC should develop a clear policy and design schedules where possible to enable players to take advantage of overseas club opportunities but still contribute to local competitions and, by extension, the national team;
30. ZC should decentralise its approach to facilities management and empower local units to take responsibility for local facilities as it will not be possible for ZC to directly maintain all of the country's cricket facilities from central funds;
31. Decision-making on facilities should focus on those that are most critical to the achievement of the stated cricketing aims of the strategic plan;
32. Proper annual financial planning and budgeting, including longer term strategies to manage financial losses and related business issues;
33. Implementation of the ICC Board resolution from March 2008;
34. Financial reporting in USD to assist stakeholders, including ICC, in comprehending the financial status of ZC as it relates to the fulfilment of the cricket objectives in its strategic plan; and
35. In accordance with ICC policy, follow-up of the 2007 qualified audited accounts (in terms of IAS 29 Accounting Standard) by ICC management.

The main points include re-formatting the domestic season so it extends over several months. This is so that the players can reflect on their performance, and then have time to adjust accordingly. At the moment, there are usually less than a week between rounds of Logan Cup matches. Many domestic one-day matches are played back-to-back. The standards of domestic competition was a major concern, the ICC would like ZC do make greater efforts to increase the standards - including by enticing back former experienced players. Already this season, Mark Vermeulen and Charles Coventry have made returns. The ICC recommended bringing in overseas players. Perhaps allowing top Kenyan, Namibian, domestic Pakistani and up-and-coming South African domestic players to take places within the current 4 domestic teams would help in this respect.

The standard of domestic First Class competition is considered one of the most important points in ensuring Zimbabwe's return to the Test fold, as a good First Class competition produces capable international players.

The ICC would like to greater representation of experiences ex-players within ZC, including the Cricket Committee (ZC's major decision making body) and the selection panel.

Additionally, the ICC have recommended that Zimbabwe play in the Intercontinental Cup. Presumably this will not happen in the 2009-10 season.

Overall, everyone agrees that Zimbabwe needs to have better domestic competitions and greater exposure to international teams. And to prepare them for Test return, Zimbabwe needs to be playing more 4-day matches. It was reported in the document that a 4-day tour match in Zimbabwe costs between $150,000 and $200,000 (USD). The Sri Lanka ODI series saw a loss of $500,000. reported that ZC have accepted the recommendations and will work with the ICC to ensure that they are put into place.

Womens tournament begins

The womens one-day tournament began at Old Hararians. Westerns beat Easterns in a 40 over match, while Northerns overcame Centrals by 5 wickets. The best players from this tournament are likely to be selected in the World Cup qualifying squad.

Williams might return to Westerns

After dropping off the radar after the ODI tour of Kenya, the Sunday News think Sean Williams might make himself available for the remaining Logan Cup matches. However, it seems nothing more than a hopeful possibility at the moment as it is believed that he is currently in South Africa.