OUTGOING Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers’ Association (ZPCA) chief executive Eliah Zvimba says a clique of players and some Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) “advisers” were behind his departure from the players’ body.
Zvimba had a spat last year with former ZC managing director Ozias Bvute, who now acts as an adviser to the ZC board, when they were negotiating deals for the players.
In a statement yesterday, Zvimba said some of the senior players wanted him to employ their unqualified wives in the ZPCA offices, but he turned them down, leading to the eventual deterioration of relations.
Part of the statement reads: “As Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers’ Association’s chief executive officer, I am accused of an ‘unholy alliance’ with Federation of International Cricket Association (FICA). This is bizarre and akin to saying Zimbabwe Cricket has an ‘unholy alliance’ with the ICC, which is, of course, absurd.
FICA is the umbrella body for all legitimate Player Associations in International Cricket and is supported (both financially and morally) by the vast majority of players from the Test Nations. FICA’s agenda is the players’ agenda.
lIf the players who supplied the information and leaked emails for the article (whom I suspect are a small minority of Zimbabwe’s excellent professional cricketers) wish to align themselves with Zimbabwe Cricket rather than their colleagues and peers in ZPCA and FICA, that is a matter for them, but they should not pretend to speak for all Zimbabwe’s players.
lI believe what has happened to me is a result of a bargain struck between certain players and influential advisors to ZC who felt I was too successful on the players’ behalf.
They have done personal deals to the detriment of and in betrayal of their colleagues, but, again, that is a matter for them to explain and justify to their fellow ZPCA members.
Whether the constitution was adhered to and the resolution was made with a full board and player’s consensus remains a mystery.
lMy commitment to this role has been questioned in the article, but I am satisfied that I went above and beyond what I was contracted to do and my conscience is clear.
I was learning on the job and undoubtedly made some mistakes, but I am proud of what I achieved for the players.
Firing me just before a vital stage in negotiation of a memorandum of understanding with ZC cut the good work off at the knees, but that is, I suspect, why it was done. That was the bargain made between certain senior players and influential board “advisors”.
lThe same senior players (some) expected me to employ their unqualified and unskilled wives in the ZPCA office in September 2014 because they wanted to solicit for secret personal benefits than other players. I refused to do so and this clearly created resentment.
Their CVs and simulations of what they were supposed to be doing, left a lot to be desired. They want the wives decisions to influence my work ethics which I will never compromise because of money.
I sent all of them home where they belong. As a sign of anger, some senior players are still withholding cash that was sent by FICA arguing that their misses worked and must be paid accordingly.
I fear the good work done last year with the support of FICA will now come to nothing, but I hope I’m wrong and I wish Zimbabwe’s wonderful cricketers all the best for the future.”