After 22 years at the helm of Zimbabwean Cricket (ZC), Peter Chingoka is ready for another term as long as he is re-elected at next year’s board elections.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
The long-serving chairman leads a 13-member board that was faced with a series of player strikes over non-payment of salaries until the recent bailout by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Standardsport tried to fish out from Chingoka what has given him grip at the helm of Zimbabwean cricket for over two decades even though there has been a lot of discord in the sport.
“Our tenure is subject to the wishes of the electorate,” said Chingoka.
“Where there are burdens, I am not shouldering them on my own because I am just the chairman of a 13-man board that sets policy for ZC, and we have a professional administration led by a managing director to implement our polices.”
The recent strikes by players were a low point at ZC as preparations for next month’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh were severely disrupted.
But Chingoka feels the strikes are nothing compared to the 2004 mass walkout by senior players.
“The worst experiences we have ever had were the issue to do with the rebel players in 2004 and our temporary withdrawal from playing Test matches. Our decision was proved to be right as we returned stronger in 2011,” he said.
With players back in training in preparation for the T20 World Cup, Chingoka feels their financial predicament is now over.
“We are not aware of financial problems that ZC is facing except the cash flow hitch which we have just had….as ‘temporary’ and which, true to that description, is over now,” he said.
Hopes last year were that India’s tour of Zimbabwe would bring a windfall to ZC but instead, it turned out to be the source of the cash flow problems.
All eyes are now on the triangular series between Zimbabwe, Australia and South Africa later this year.
Zimbabwe would be the tri-series which could bring more money than India’s visit and could also sustain ZC until next year’s World Cup.
“The India tour of Zimbabwe was of significant financial assistance to us. It would have been even more so had it proceeded as scheduled.
However, it did not, because the demands on India are hectic as they are the leading revenue earner for all countries,” said Chingoka.
“Because their calendar became congested, the tour to Zimbabwe had to be reduced from seven to five One-Day International (ODI) matches, with a corresponding negative impact on television rights income. In fact, it is the impact of this unforeseen curtailment which led to the temporary cash flow hitch we experienced, resulting in the player boycott.”