A decade of turmoil


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April, 2004 -Thirteen members of the Zimbabwe cricket team release a statement airing their concerns about the state of cricket in the country after Heath Steak is dismissed as the captain.

September 2004 – Peter Chingoka, the Zimbabwe board chief is accused of using manipulation and intimidation by a newspaper after tiptoeing past the potential problems posed by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union’s AGM, where the board’s hardline majority retained control.

September 2004 – The hearing to investigate allegations of racism levelled against the Zimbabwe Cricket Union by the group of rebel players begins in Harare

October 2004 – Malcolm Speed, the then ICC chief executive, brands the letter sent on behalf of the remaining 12 Zimbabwe rebels ‘a schoolboy attempt to manipulate public opinion in your favour’.

October 2004 – Ehsan Mani, the then president of the ICC, says he was satisfied with findings of the ICC report which found no evidence of racism in Zimbabwe cricket.

December 2004 – Zimbabwe cricket is thrown into turmoil again as Mashonaland Cricket Association announces that it won’t recognise Zimbabwe Cricket, the reincarnation of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union

July 2005 – New Zealand government motion calling on New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to cancel the tour to Zimbabwe and asking the ICC to stop all international tours to Zimbabwe “while gross human rights abuses continue” is passed 110 votes to 10

August 2005 – Two leading British politicians write to the ICC requesting that Zimbabwe be kicked out of international cricket because of the country’s rapidly deteriorating human rights situation

October 2005 – Zimbabwe’s leading cricketers continue to play without contracts while the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers’ Association (ZPCA) tries to secure a new deal with the governing body

October 2005 – Zimbabwe cricket heads towards another crisis after the provincial associations pass a vote of no confidence on the Peter Chingoka-led Zimbabwe Cricket board

November 2005 – The seriousness of the struggle for power inside Zimbabwe became all too clear with the news that Tatenda Taibu, the country’s captain, was forced into hiding after receiving threats from an individual known to have close links to both Zimbabwe Cricket and Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party

January 2006 – Zimbabwe’s cricketers say they will not go to West Indies in May for a Test and ODI tour unless three conditions are met. They say they will not tour unless their contracts are agreed, they are paid match fees going back to August last year and, finally, they insist that chairman Peter Chingoka must not remain in office.

January 2006 – Rumours that the end of the strike by Zimbabwe’s players was not as straightforward as initially seemed the case prove accurate as a meeting among many of them decided that they would not discuss contracts with the board until their outstanding wages have been paid.

January 2006
The interim board that is currently in charge of Zimbabwe cricket chooses to suspend the national team from Test cricket for at least a year. Zimbabwe didn’t play their next Test till 2011.

March 2007 – Andy Flower, the former Zimbabwe captain whose black-armband protest was one of the most memorable images of the 2003 World Cup, calls on sporting authorities to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe following the brutal police attacks on members of the opposition, including their leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

June 2008 – Pressure from its own cricketers forces Cricket South Africa into an embarrassing about-turn regarding cricketing links with Zimbabwe, leading an end to bilateral relations.

June 2008 – The British government makes it clear to the ECB that the Zimbabwe team will not be allowed into the country to take part in World Twenty20 2009. Zimbabwe agrees to pull out of the tournament, clearing the roadblocks for the competition to be staged there, but retain their status as Full Member of the ICC and receive funding as usual.

December 2008 – A Harare court orders Zimbabwe Cricket to submit documents concerning its payroll, sponsorship deals and ICC grants following claims of financial mismanagement by the former Zimbabwe captain, Tatenda Taibu.

August 2011 – On the eve of Zimbabwe’s return to Test cricket, Tatenda Taibu slam the country’s cricket administration, saying that a lack of funds and poor professional structures are crippling cricket in the country.

September 2012 – Zimbabwe Cricket plunges into another crisis, reportedly incurring debts of US$18 million and failing to play some of its players their wages on time.

April 2013 – Zimbabwe’s cricketers threaten a boycott ahead of their series against Bangladesh in protest against unsatisfactory payments from their board

August 2013 – Zimbabwe’s players take the bold step of forming a players’ union in a bid to present a united front in salary negotiations. They also boycott training ahead of the series against Pakistan, which begins next week, until their demands are met.

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