Henry Olonga, a former Zimbabwean cricketer, has endorsed the Sports and Recreation Commission’s move to suspend the Zimbabwe Cricket Board insisting it was a necessary evil to stabilise a ship which had been rocked by allegations of corruption.
Olonga who played Test and One Day International cricket for a career span of eight years, urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to be lenient with Zimbabwe.
“Hoping the @ICC view it as a clean sweep to rebuild and save the sport rather than political interference,” Olonga said on twitter.
His remarks were echoed by the Zimbabwe Cricket Supporters Union (ZCSU) who welcomed the intervention by the SRC.
“ZCSU has been amongst those who had over the years wrote to SRC and the Ministry of Sports to intervene in cricket administration as it was clear that the Board has failed to execute it’s mandate,” the supporters said in a statement.
The supporters association said on the field of play Zimbabwe Cricket’s results have been disastrous with the side’s competitiveness waning with each series underscored by the failure to qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup after losing to UAE.
“As ZCSU, we expect thorough audits of finances and bringing to book all those who corruptly benefited from ZC. Appointment of professionals with a sound cricket background to run the affairs of Cricket in Zimbabwe. Solid grassroots programs to produce future cricketers,” the association said.
“After the disastrous World Cup Qualifiers, calls for the resignation of the entire ZC Board grew louder but the Board did not heed the call and we called upon SRC to intervene but to no avail. We are happy that at long last SRC has intervened.”
The suspension of the Tavengwa Mukuhlani led board has seen ICC freezing its funding to ZC.
The cricket board has been receiving monthly cash distributions from the ICC under a well-publicised controlled funding mechanism agreed last year.
Without the June allocation, ZC was unable to pay for the women’s team’s travel, throwing Zimbabwe’s preparations for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier, to be held in Scotland in August-September, into disarray.
ZC has also been unable to process the June salaries for players and staff.