Zimbabwe Cricket announce payment of allowance to non-contracted players

Zimbabwe are the champions of the Africa region. ©Zimbabwe Cricket

Zimbabwe Cricket announced the payment of an allowance to a few of the non-contracted female players of national interest. The players and the amount to be paid to each is yet to be decided. The board also announced the establishment of a three-member women’s national selection panel. Both decisions were taken during the board’s first virtual board meeting on Sunday (May 24).

The selection panel will be made up of former internationals Julia Chibhabha, Thando Mlilo and Emily Njinjika. Chibhabha, Zimbabwe’s first captain, and sister of men’s international, Chamu, is the chair of the selection committee.

Chibhabha, a talented allrounder, led Zimbabwe into the global qualifiers in their first ever attempt way back in 2007. She enjoyed a successful stint as skipper of the side, inspiring a generation of young girls – including many in the current national setup – to take up the game.

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Additionally, the board’s plans to contend with the coronavirus pandemic were discussed, along with the guidelines for the safe resumption of cricket in the country. ZC agreed to largely adhere to the guidelines provided by the ICC to help its members restart cricket activity according to government regulations within each country.

Following their ban in July last year – revoked in October – Zimbabwe have not played any competitive cricket. The suspension meant they had to miss the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Scotland in August-September despite winning the Africa region qualifier. However, they retained their place in the qualifying event for the ODI World Cup in July.

The pandemic, has, however, meant that tournament too has been postponed indefinitely, with players and teams uncertain about what the future holds.

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“In sport, teams need sufficient time to prepare for such a big event as this,” Zimbabwe skipper Mary-Anne Musonsa told New Zimbabwe earlier last week. “I receive the postponement of our Qualifiers well because in the end, our health and that of the cricket community matters more.”

“However,  we had made a lot of progress and built good momentum, it’s unfortunate,” she concluded.

While Zimbabwe will have to wait to get their team back on track, it seems after a long period of inactivity, the women’s game within the country has finally taken a step in the right direction.