HomeSportCricketZC responds over New Zealand tour fiasco

ZC responds over New Zealand tour fiasco

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The following is a statement by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) managing director Ozias Bvute, responding to Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister
David Coltarts criticism:

We understand fully the Ministers frustration both as the relevant authority of sport and as a cricket fan. The performance of our national team in New Zealand has been a disappointment to us as well and indeed the nation as a whole.

It would not be proper to try and find excuses as to what went wrong save to apologise to the nation and ensure our supporters that a full enquiry into our shortcomings will be made.

This tour has been the first of its kind for Zimbabwe in many years and while we were aware that traditionally, away from home tours tend to post less impressive results, we had hoped for a more spirited display in all aspects of the game.

The issue of selection has and will always be a contentious one and the notion of the ideal team will vary from person to person, which is why such decisions are left to a selection panel which in turn is made up of experts in the game and former players.

The size of the touring party is determined by the needs of our team and the composition of our currently touring side is in fact at par with that of other cricketing nations embarking on tours of this nature.

The ratio of technical staff to players is always kept at a balance that ensures that playing strategies can be enhanced when needed or specialist players brought in as was done in the case of Graeme Cremer and Prosper Utseya.

For anyone to suggest that a committee would deliberately sabotage the success of the national team is unfortunate. These gentlemen are motivated solely by the greater interest of cricket.

In the case of Vusi Sibanda, the Cricket Committee made up of Alistair Campbell, Dave Houghton, Jason Gillespie, Freddy Kapuya, Cyprian Mandenge, Kevin Curran, Trevor Mutangadura and Wilfred Mukondiwa engaged him on the matter of leaving the local league to go and play for a club in Australia and advised him that such a decision would jeopardise his eligibility for national selection.

He chose to pursue it nonetheless. Our standard policy is that we provide no objection to players spending time abroad to improve their game and the practice is even encouraged by the Zimbabwe Cricket Board. The condition, however, is that the player fulfils a certain number of games in our league.

The reasoning behind this is that should senior players be allowed to travel abroad without restriction, there would invariably never be any seasoned cricketers in the country and the role these play in imparting experience to younger players and improving the level of the game is invaluable.

In the past, we have given Vusi (Sibanda) and other players no-objection certificates and we will continue to do so in the future, so long as this is within the confines of our policy. This is the best way to get a return on the investment we have made in these players.

Again though, things do go wrong and once the team returns next week, we do have a reporting and review structure that allows us to do a post-mortem of the entire tour and we will then have a clearer picture of what led to Zimbabwes poor performance.

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