New Delhi: The Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board on Tuesday announced that it sought help from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in clearing dues of its players and staff. However, the move has left the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) slightly worried with officials questioning the repeated funding that the international body has extended to the country.
Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official said that it was curious how the international body has time and again proposed and approved funding to Zimbabwe Cricket during important decision-making meetings of the ICC, including the time when the BCCI had looked to stop the governance and financial changes in the international body and needed votes from member countries to do so.
“Zimbabwe Cricket has been in dire straits on account of bad governance decisions that has left them debt ridden,” the official explained. “They found themselves in a situation where any income was only being expended in paying the interests for the debt. The political and economic atmosphere in their country was also not conducive to revenue generation. The weakening of BCCI left them without an influential friend to help them in their time of continuing need.
“The BCCI had needed 4 votes to stem the governance and financial changes in the ICC and Zimbabwe had been India’s friend. However, these conditions were too tempting for the ICC governance brass to ignore and therein started the process of offering Zimbabwe greater revenue and such decisions have always been proximate to meetings where an important decision is taken.
“What it says for the principles and policies of the ICC is not very flattering. If you will notice, this decision had been taken on the same day when the decision to change the format of the Champions Trophy was considered.”
The official went on to explain that the financial statements of 2017 already show loans being disbursed to full members and while the details aren’t provided, it includes ZC and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
“It is interesting to note that as per the ICC Financial Statements of 2017, loans to full members stand at US$10,609,000 and though the details have not been given in the statements, the members here would definitely include Zimbabwe and West Indies. Post that, another loan is being advanced,” he said.
ICC chairman Shashank Manohar had announced after the July 2 annual conference in Dublin that ZC was set to get financial assistance.
“I am satisfied we have mapped out a way forward to enable Zimbabwe Cricket to get back on track,” he had said. “It will require significant change to their financial, managerial and cricketing operations, along with support from the ICC, but we saw the latent potential of cricket at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and this gives us the opportunity to build on that.”
The ongoing financial mess has seen the likes of Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Graeme Cremer, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine refusing to be available for selection in the national team.