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Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), known until 2004 as Zimbabwe Cricket Union, is the leading body dealing with basic issues related to cricket in Zimbabwe. Formed in 1992, the specialized association aims to manage the national team and organize matches at all levels, whether Test, ODI or local championships. It is a full member of the International Cricket Council, where it has been a member since 1992 with a break (2005-2011).
Zimbabwe Cricket: history
In the early 2000s, the Zimbabwean cricket organization experienced a number of significant upheavals. The key one was the incident during the Cricket World Cup 2003. Then the key players of the national team Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, organized a protest “black armband protest”, the essence of which was to draw attention to the tense political situation in the country. Naturally, these players subsequently left the national team and left the International Cricket Council. However, the misfortunes of the national team did not end there.
A couple of years later (2004), the national team once again loudly reminded about itself, and with another incident. So most of the players left the team’s ranks after learning that their then captain Heath Streak was unreasonably dismissed. The scandal broke out because the overwhelming part of the team compiled and sent to the management of Zimbabwe Cricket a list of requirements concerning the restoration of the ex-captain and indicating the reason why this decision could have been caused. Experienced cricketers saw this as political and racial prejudices imposed on the organization by the country’s top leadership. However, the management of Zimbabwe Cricket simply ignored this initiative.
In this regard, the veterans refused to continue playing for the national team, leaving it for the next two Tests and three ODI’s in the series with Sri Lanka and Australia to the young and inexperienced generation.
Unable for objective reasons to achieve any results, the team did not demonstrate anything, having suffered a crushing failure. Against the background of what is happening, current and former players and commentators and fans have appealed to the ICC with a request to deprive Zimbabwe Cricket of the opportunity to participate in the Test until the management resolves the deep crisis that has grown in the team.
The culmination of what was happening was the disruption of an urgent meeting on the suspension of ZC from participating in the Test, organized by the ICC director himself. What is interesting is the refusal of Zimbabwe Cricket to host the ICC director a few days earlier without explaining the reasons.
Just a few hours before the vote, the Zimbabwean leadership decided to get in touch with the management of Cricket Australia. Their proposal was to cancel two upcoming matches with representatives of the “green continent”, which were to be held a day later. The Australian Association went to a meeting and accepted this proposal, thereby becoming a “lifeline” for ZC, which prevented the vote.
On June 10 of the same year, Zimbabwe Cricket had to agree to refuse to participate in the remaining 2004 Test matches against Australia, South Africa and India.
At the end of 2005, the new captain of the national team resigned, citing the same unresolved problems. In 2007, the political leadership of Australia expressed its disagreement with the policy of Zimbabwe, which was the reason for the cancellation of an Australian tour of the African country.
Qualitative improvements in the national team results, thanks to victories over Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and New Zealand, allowed the African association to recover in the ICC. Thus, it was possible to restore the lost status of ZC only in 2011.
There is an opinion that one of the conditions for the return of ZC to the ICC is the modernization of a number of international cricket grounds. This statement is not without meaning because Zimbabwe Cricket really undertook the restoration of the Harare Sports Club and Mutare Sports Club grounds and announced a plan to build a new Test ground near Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe Cricket: achievements
Despite all the organizational difficulties, the Zimbabwean national team has always been part of cricket’s elite. The best achievement of the national team at the moment is 5th place at the Cricket World Cup 1999. In addition, we can recall that the African team has the Champions Trophy (2000) and three ICC Trophies.
In total, the team took part in 91 Tests, winning 10 of them. The remaining 55 ended unsuccessfully for the Zimbabweans, and it was impossible to identify the winner in 26.
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