The sudden outbursts by former senior men’s cricket team Captain Tatenda Taibu on the eve of Zimbabwe’s Test matches return were regrettable, but should be taken seriously.
Taibu came out with guns blazing on Tuesday at a Press conference in which he accused the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) top brass of failing the game because players were not being paid their salaries and did not have contracts.
Taibu said players have not been getting their match fees since last August and were struggling to make ends meet.
He said of Zimbabwe cricket: “I don’t think much has changed really, the administration is still struggling to run cricket in the country well.
“For example, the guys haven’t been paid their match fees from August last year up to now. At the moment, I am sitting here without a contract, no one has got a contract.
“Most of the players would be afraid to say such things because they fear being targeted . . .”
While Taibu’s timing was wrong and he used the incorrect platform to air his views, one would strongly feel what he raised were very legitimate issues if they are true. No ZC official has come out denying Taibu’s allegations.
Why the ZC has not paid the players for the whole year remains a mystery for an association that gets thousands from sponsorship deals and television rights from the International Cricket Council.
Cricket is one of the highest-paying sports and in the past few people preferred that game than less financially rewarding games like football, basketball and rugby.
The sport has been admired and considered a case study of good governance in the country until about a decade ago when there was chaos after senior players revolted.
In fact this game has always been referred to as the gentleman’s game.
Where is the gentleman’s part of cricket going?
Are we witnessing another Zimbabwe Football Association in the making? We urge ZC to put their house in order. They should pay the players on time to avoid discontent in the team.
We also advise ZC not to victimise Taibu for his utterances although one would think the former skipper erred in announcing the current state of affairs at the union before the big match today.
Taibu’s persecution might result in the team losing focus and spoil the country’s return to Test cricket. The powers-that-be at ZC must use the utterances by their player to redress the way they run the institution.
They should just pay these players so that they concentrate on what happens on the field of play. We have been waiting for so long to return to Test cricket and the country does not want to return to the dark days.
Peter Chingoka and his lieutenants must pull up their sleeves or ship out. They should not victimise Taibu.