THE ICC report on the allegations of racism in the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) rebuffs the fundamental complaint by the Heath Streak-led band of experienced players. And yet I can’t help feeling that this is far from the end of this sorr
y saga that has damaged our proud cricketing heritage.
The flimsy report is filled with legal jargon and surprisingly justifies the conclusion of not guilty that will see the ZCU preen its feathers.
Considering that the players were advised by the International Cricket Union (ICC) that they could appear in camera, the report was written without the oral evidence of all the players because of the breakdown of the hearing so feebly handled by the two eminent visiting judges. That means that the critical evidence of 12 players has been wasted.
Former managing director Vince Hogg also declined to give evidence, according to the report! Very strange when he was at the pit face of the meetings and could tell the truth with greatest credibility.
The ICC recommendations touch the nerve centre of almost every issue raised by the players, thus confirming that these were not figments of the imagination but rather real smoldering problems. Consider this sentence in the report: “The ZCU should take immediate steps to ensure that competent selectors are appointed.”
In other words, the current selectors are incompetent and the rebel players have a valid point. The report also sates: “There is discontent regarding the functioning of some ZCU directors which needs to be seriously addressed by the senior and mature people within Zimbabwe Cricket.”
Does that not imply that ZCU board member Ozias Bvute and his ilk are immature and behave irresponsibly? Maybe they are even driven racially and politically to their personal benefit but to the detriment of the game?
Is it over? It will be very interesting to see what evolves next because it is my view that if the International Players Association believes their Zimbabwe colleagues have been given a raw deal, and that this unsavoury episode has been conveniently swept under the carpet, then maybe the ICC still stands to suffer embarrassment and reversal.
Why doesn’t the media interview Richard Bevan of the Players’ Association and ask him directly if they are happy and satisfied with this outcome? Or if they are preparing the ground for confrontation with the ICC?