BY Kevin Mapasure
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) workers are set to snub interim managing director Vince Hogg who directed them to return to work before today’s deadline as the soap opera in the battle for control of cricket in the country rumbles on.
Hogg released a statement on Monday threatening workers, who continue to abscond themselves from work, with dismissal, but the employees yesterday maintained that they will not return to work under the interim administration which the International Cricket Council (ICC) has since refused to recognise.
Since the Tavengwa Mukuhlani board was suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) board last month, workers have not reported for work, which has
made it difficult for the Dave Ellman Brown-led interim committee to work.
The statement released by the workers yesterday reads: “We were disturbed to learn that interim managing director Vincent Hogg had sent out a Press statement
calling on employees to return to work on August 1, 2019 or risk legal or disciplinary consequences. We found the statement condescending, reckless and
inappropriate. We would like to make it very clear to Hogg and the committee that no amount of threats will cow us into submitting to an administration without
legitimacy. Our position is clearly informed by the fact that the ICC does not recognise the interim committee. Besides, the interim committee – whose
appointment led to Zimbabwe’s suspension by the ICC – has not only been insensitive to our plight as players and staff members, but has also shown that the
game and its future are not among its priorities. The consequences of suspension have been disastrous, with ICC funding to ZC frozen and representative teams
from Zimbabwe not allowed to take part in any events run or sanctioned by the world cricket body.”
They argued that it is workers and players who are suffering following ZC’s suspension.
“In all this, we as players and staff are bearing the brunt of the suspension: we have not been paid our June and July dues, we are likely to go for months or
forever without our salaries, our livelihoods have been stolen from us and our game is being choked to death while we watch helplessly. All the while, Hogg and
his handlers remain aloof, disinterested and unmoved by the devastation.”
The statement also alluded to talks between Mukuhlani and Sports minister Kirsty Coventry. “We had hoped that the talks that we understand are ongoing between
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry and ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani would lead to a breakthrough in resolving this crisis as soon as
possible. We have not lost that hope as yet and we implore the minister to put an end to this tragedy and ensure that in the end cricket is the winner. In the
meantime, as players and staff, we refuse to be used as pawns in the interim committee’s power grab scheme.”