BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
FORMER Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu (pictured) has thrown his weight behind the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC)’s recent suspension of the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani and the installation of an interim one led by veteran cricket administrator David Ellman-Brown.
The entire ZC board was suspended by the SRC for defying its directive to shelve a scheduled AGM on June 14, amid allegations of electoral irregularities in the lead-up to the polls and misappropriation of funds.
Acting managing director Givemore Makoni was also affected by the suspensions.
Taibu — who played 28 Tests, 150 One-Day Internationals and 17 Twenty20s for Zimbabwe before going on to serve as convener of selectors — said he was in full
support of the SRC’s decision.
The 36-year-old England-based former wicketkeeper/batsman said the domestic game had continued to nosedive under previous ZC boards amid long-held suspicions
of corruption and mismanagement of funds, which he said had negatively impacted the national teams’ performances on the field.
“I totally support the decision by the SRC to suspend the Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led ZC board. Something had to be done and I totally back the SRC on this,” Taibu
told StandardSport in an exclusive interview yesterday.
Taibu said the problems bedevilling Zimbabwe cricket were highlighted by the national team’s shock 2-0 series defeat to Holland in a recent one-day series.
Currently Zimbabwe are trailing the three-match series against Ireland 2-0 with one match remaining today at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast.
Last year, Zimbabwe narrowly failed to qualify for the World Cup, losing to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after which their head coach, captain and chief
selector were summarily sacked by the now ousted board.
“I believe that our cricket has been nosediving for a very long time. I mean look at the state of our affairs now. Look at the scores on the cricket pitch, look at the results against teams we are supposed to be thrashing, but we are now losing, not only a game but we are now losing the series against Holland and
Ireland,” Taibu said.
“That’s a good enough indication that our cricket has been nosediving. This is not aimed at the players whatsoever because I know what the structures are like
and I know a lot of the things that happen off the field do affect them. So a lot of people may think the players go out on the field and they give those
performances, but there’s a lot that goes with that. The players being on the field is your final product, it’s your final tale of how the whole organisation
is, so it just gives the indication of how our organisation is the moment,” he said.
Taibu’s support of the move by SRC comes at a time when the world cricket governing body, International Cricket Council (ICC), is scheduled to meet in London
on July 15 to determine if action by the SRC was in contravention of its rules prohibiting political interference in its members.
If deemed government interference, Zimbabwe’s ICC membership could be suspended.
This would result in the men and women’s teams that are due to take part in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers later in the year being barred although their
programme of fixtures would continue, because of a desire for players not to suffer from administrative problems.
In recent years, Nepal and the United States have been suspended but permitted to continue playing while the ICC was in temporary control of the sport.
Taibu said regardless of what the ICC decides, something had to be done to arrest the continued slide of the domestic game instead of adopting a wait-and-see
“Surely something had to be done, whatever that something is, something had to be done and the something that was done I totally am for it and I back the SRC
100% on their decision to suspend the board. Yes, people are talking about different outcomes that may come from such a stand but just not doing anything was
not going to get our cricket back, but doing something was the way to go. I’m sure you’ve heard a statement that says you can’t expect to do the same mistake
twice and expect different results. That is the height of foolishness to be honest, so something had to be done and it was done and I back it 100%,” he said.