Sri Lanka itinerary not finalised: Zimbabwe cricketers in dispute over unpaid match fees

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s Harare-based players have refused to train in protest over unpaid match fees, which date back to July last year. The players were due to begin preparations for a series against Pakistan A, which starts at the end of the month, followed by fixtures against Sri Lanka, but have instead insisted on a meeting with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa to discuss “their worsening situation”.

Several sources said that apart from the outstanding player bill, ZC has also neglected to bring players from outside Harare to the training camp because of a lack of funds, or to ensure there are sufficient balls for training or nets for practice.

“We are just fed up at the moment. It is crisis after crisis over here,” a player said while detailing the cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.

Also, players said, since the end of July, when player contracts expired, there has been no indication on when new ones will be issued at either national or domestic level.

Nationally-contracted players were given a month’s extension on their deals which covered the New Zealand series in July-August, but the situation at domestic level remains unclear after ZC announced it would move from a franchise to a provincial system this summer. No fixtures have been released yet.

There has been no announcement on Zimbabwe’s schedule for the rest of the international season. They are scheduled to play two Tests against Sri Lanka, but there was initially speculation of that series being altered into a triangular fifty-over competition also involving West Indies. More recently, there has been word that both the Tests and the tri-series will take place.

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