Workers interviewed by Standardsport said they were called to the Human Resources department to be told of the development. “The salaries were cut by 30%, but we were told that this is just temporary. ZC will pay us back the money as a lump sum after six months. Next year there will be the Twenty20 World Cup as well as the New Zealand tour,” said the source.
However, ZC managing director Ozias Bvute denied that salaries had been cut. “There is nothing like that happening at ZC. It is not the true position and if you write about it, it will be defamatory.
What we are trying to do is run a 12-month season in seven months. The players’ salaries were cut in January when we did that contract adjustment basing on contracts,” he said.
However, Bvute told ESPN CricInfo in August that the association would incur losses of over US$2 million in their attempts to re-enter the Test arena. ZC has hosted three tours in the space of five months, playing one Test against each of Bangladesh, Pakistan and New Zealand and a bigger number ODIs and Twenty20 matches. The one off Test against New Zealand was played last week.
“It costs us around US$1,1 million to host a tour,” Bvute, told ESPNcricinfo. “We only earn about US$200 000 from TV rights, although it will be slightly less against New Zealand, and about US$150 000 from sponsorship.”
The deficit, of around US$750 000 per tour, is made up through loans from local banks, who allow ZC to repay them over an extended period. Given the rate at which cricket is growing in the country, Bvute believes it will take up to a decade for the debt to be cleared and for ZC to start making profits.
Cricket boards only earn money when they are hosting and Zimbabwe have calculated that only the hosting of India or England will result in a profit because of the money they can make in broadcasting rights, but even that is not an easy option for them.