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ZC not completely off the hook

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

THE recently reinstated Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board will not escape further scrutiny after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) said it would intensify its probe into the affairs of the game beyond the lifting of the suspension.

An interim committee that had been appointed by the SRC to run the affairs of Zimbabwean cricket in place of the suspended board had now been transformed into a special advisory body on cricket for the country’s supreme sports regulatory body.

The latest move comes after the SRC last week reinstated the suspended Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led ZC board to avoid expulsion by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which last month suspended Zimbabwe’s membership and withdrew funding over alleged government interference in the sport.

In a statement yesterday, the Gerald Mlotshwa-led SRC board said the interim committee now becomes an “Audit, Risk Management and Legal Committee” to probe the affairs of ZC.

The country’s sports regulatory body said the reassignment of the interim committee was part of the agreement reached to bring back the suspended board into office.

The SRC’s Audit, Risk Management and Legal Committee will be comprised of members of the recently disbanded ZC interim committee led by veteran cricket administrator Dave Ellman-Brown.

“Pursuant to Paragraph 8 of the Deed of Settlement signed between Zimbabwe Cricket, Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and the Sports and Recreation Commission, and forming part of the Consent Order filed with the Administrative Court of Zimbabwe, it is hereby notified that the members of the Interim Committee previously charged with the administration of Zimbabwe Cricket are hereby, in terms of Section 12(2)(b) of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act, appointed as members of the Sports and Recreation Commission’s Audit, Risk Management and Legal Committee charged with enquiring specifically into the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket,” the SRC said in a statement yesterday.

“Their terms of reference shall, mutatis mutandis, be those terms of reference previously obtaining under the Interim Committee to the extent that these do not extend to the administration or management of Zimbabwe Cricket. Zimbabwe Cricket, in terms of the Deed of Settlement forming a part of the said Consent Order, and in particular paragraph 14 thereof, has agreed to ‘cooperate and exercise the utmost good faith’ with the purposes and intentions of this Committee. The appointment is effective from the date on which the Registrar of the Administrative Court issues the Consent Order agreed to under Case No ACC 34/19,” it added.

The appointment of the Audit, Risk Management and Legal Committee is one of key issues forming part of a settlement deal reached between the SRC and ZC to bring back the suspended board into office.

As part of the agreement, ZC is to appoint in the next two months a new substantive managing director highly recommended by the ICC.

“The second respondent (ZC board) agrees to appoint, within 60 days hereof, a substantive chief executive officer, being a person whose identity has already been agreed to with the International Cricket Council, and if not so appointed, the post will be advertised and recruitment thereof made on the recommendation of a reputable consultancy firm within a further period of 30 days,” reads the document.

Acting ZC managing director Givemore Makoni, whose suspension was also lifted last week, is expected to step down from the post which he has held since the departure of former ICC finance chief Faisal Hasnain in November 2017.

The settlement also significantly empowers the country’s national team players, who will have the right to appoint a former national team player on the ZC board to represent their interests.

The retired cricketer to be co-opted on the board by the end of this month will be one of two board of directors with “a verifiable and credible background in cricket and its administration”.

Reads the statement: “Additionally, the centrally-contracted cricketers shall be entitled to nominate one director for appointment to the board of directors of second respondent (ZC) by August 31, 2019, which nominee shall be a retired cricketer previously centrally contracted.”

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