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Coltart on India tour

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THE Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart has expressed his disappointment at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s putting on ice its tour of Zimbabwe in July saying the consequences will be disastrous.

REPORT BY SPORTS REPORTER

Coltart posted on his Twitter account yesterday morning 24 hours after news had filtered in that India had put their ODI tour to Zimbabwe “on hold”.

“I am deeply concerned about news of India putting their cricket tour of Zimbabwe ‘on hold’. The ramifications are potentially severe,” Coltart said on his Twitter page.

According to Cricinfo, “An India no-show will have wide-ranging consequences for Zimbabwean cricket, most notably financially. ZC is running on close to empty and is in severe debt. Match fees to some players are still outstanding and there has been no clarity on the scheme for funding franchise cricket next summer. The cost of hosting Bangladesh in April and early May would not have helped that situation.”

There are also scheduled tours by Pakistan in August and Sri Lanka in October, for which they will likely make a loss. Some of the money could have been recovered by the big draw-card of India because of the substantial television rights fees they bring with them.

It could also have helped ZC clear some of their outstanding bills. One of them is from some of the commentators who worked on the Bangladesh series. “They were not paid by ZC at the time, but were told they would be reimbursed after the India series.”

A BCCI official told ESPN Cricinfo that “the fatigue factor” which will follow the Champions Trophy and Tri-series in the West Indies between June 28 to July 1, was the reason for the BCCI’s decision to put the series on ice.

ZC and broadcasters Supersport are reportedly unaware of the proposed postponement with Zimbabwe’s cricketers gearing up for training to compete against India.

Zimbabwe has just completed a satisfactory series against Bangladesh.

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