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Dhaka Tribune

Zimbabwe cricket’s money troubles

Update : 30 Apr 2013, 05:12 PM

Zimbabwe cricket chairman Peter Chingoka was the first black Zimbabwean to make a name for himself in cricket, thanks largely to a privileged upbringing that enabled him to be one of the few non-whites to gain an education at multiracial private schools, Hartmann House and St George’s College in Harare, during the apartheid years in Rhodesia. The 59-year old is the longest serving cricket president in the world and the pioneer of modern cricket in Zimbabwe. How does he feel about the work he does? “It is self-punishment, to be honest. There is a lot of work that has to be done and my colleagues from the board and from provisional associations believe that I have something to contribute. So I’ve been doing that for as long as I have been around and will continue to do it as long as they want me around. My current term ends in 2014, so I think we will have another look at it then,” Chingoka told Bangladeshi journalists. Speaking about the decision to withdraw Zimbabwe from Test cricket – one of the bravest and heavily criticised decisions of Chingoka’s long career, the president said, “We lost a number of players then, but all that was a total misunderstanding. All that we, the administrators, wanted was to make sure that cricket became a truly national sport that everyone in the country played, regardless of colour or race or religion. “The fight then became about money. The top players thought that they should be getting more money and less money should go into developing the sport.” Chingoka went on to explain how money – or lack of it – was at the heart of his current problems. “Cricket is a very expensive sport to run,especially when you have to look after central contracts. In our case, and unlike anyone else, everything has to come from Zimbabwe Cricket. “We have to look after everything – from kits for primary schools, secondary schools, clubs and provinces. We have to look after the coaching for the development program. We carry out a scholarship program as well. We have to fund that with no assistance from anyone. At the current time, our economy has been having its own difficulties, so the sponsorship is minimal,” he said. He went on to explain why the Future Tour Program has not been much help. “We make money on sponsorships and television rights when India, England and Australia visit, and might just break even for Bangladesh. All the other tours don’t make money. So the Future Tour Programs has not had much effect on us, as we don’t have many games with the leading teams. “This has also harmed the development of our players. Fewer matches means our players haven’t been able to gain the experience and exposure that comes with playing against the best teams,” he said.



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