Zimbabwe has been suspended from the international cricket fraternity by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on charges of government interference in their cricketing affairs. They have also been notified to set things in order within an October deadline failing which the African side could find its membership suspended. The suspension means neither will Zimbabwe receive financial aid from the ICC nor they will be able to take part in any big ICC event.
The step by the ICC had a shocking impact as some players decided to quit the game. A lot of promising careers have found themselves at stake because of this decision. Zimbabwe, an associate member of the ICC once, was counted among the most promising sides even a decade and a half back, but turmoil in their political and sporting spheres ruined the promise gradually.
Zimbabwe desperate to take part in T20 World Cup Qualifiers
However, the country’s players are not yet giving up. They have now expressed wish to play “for free” to keep cricket alive in Zimbabwe, expressing how desperate they are to compete in the qualifiers for the next T20 World Cup for both men and women. While the men’s qualifiers will take place in October, the women’s will be in August.
“We will play for free. As long as we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our next assignment is the qualifiers. We will play for free,” a senior member of the Zimbabwe squad was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Zimbabwe cricketers have already been facing monetary losses. Neither the men’s nor women’s team has been paid in the last two months. The men cricketers were not paid match fees during their recent tour of the Netherlands and Ireland where the African nation lost the ODI series but drew the T20I series.
The suspension though doesn’t bar Zimbabwe from taking part in bilateral series and the ICC can also appoint match officials for such series. But without the international body’s funding, it will be difficult for Zimbabwe to host any series. They have also pulled out of a T20I tri-series in Bangladesh scheduled in September.
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