The Zimbabwean women’s team has withdrawn from its Ireland tour due to funding and logistics issues. They were due to arrive in Ireland on Sunday before there was a one-day twin T20 series match with the men who are already in Ireland but have not traveled.
The persistent deadlock between Zimbabwe’s Sports and Leisure Commission (ZSRC) and the suspended Zimbabwe Cricket Board seems to be the cause of the cancellation.
“We received a correspondence from Zimbabwe Cricket this afternoon stating that Zimbabwe Cricket will not send the women’s team to Ireland due to a funding problem,” said Warren Deutrom, managing director of Cricket Ireland (CI), in a statement.
“Since the team will arrive on Sunday, there is clearly no time to find an alternative, and we regret that after urgent consultation with the ICC we must confirm the cancellation of the women’s tour, but this will not affect the result.” the men’s tour, which will go according to plan, “added Deutrom.
The T20 part of the series was intended to be an important preparation for the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup qualifiers for Ireland and Zimbabwe, and CI needed to look for an alternative. “We will look for alternatives so that our women’s A national team will not be completely disadvantaged in these disappointing circumstances,” said Deutrom.
The cancellation of the women’s tour is yet another chapter of the turmoil that hit Zimbabwean cricket, as the SRC, which is the governing body of all Zimbabwean sports federations, suspended the Zeng Board, led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani, and set up an interim committee.
The SRC has alleged that the suspended officials have tried to intimidate the remaining ZC staff to clear their roles. ZC offices were virtually empty last week.
While the SRC claims to be acting in the best interests of cricket in the country, the suspension and subsequent power struggle threatens to completely disrupt the sport and Zimbabwe threatens to lose its ICC membership. It is assumed that both the former and the current ZC leadership are in contact with the ICC, which still has to comment on the matter.
“It is no coincidence that, despite clear instructions from the SRC and the Interim Committee, staff continue to refuse to return to work,” said SRK Chief Executive Gerald Mlotshwa earlier this week. “The absence of work on Monday severely hampered the ladies (team) preparations for their Ireland tour.
“There is still a clear and focused effort to sabotage Zimbabwe crickets by some of the suspended ZC officials, and a formal police report has now been prepared on these games, and it seems that every effort is being made to thwart financial investigations. ” In the case of Zimbabwe Cricket, assessing a $ 2.8 million charge on ZC’s account at a local bank with historical ties was key.
“The police have also been made aware of this issue as it is clear that no cooperation is expected from people who know the details and reasons for this historical burden,” Mlotshwa said.