Zimbabwe players on strike

  • Last Updated: February 10 2014, 14:37 GMT

Zimbabwe cricket has again been plunged into turmoil after players went on strike and refused to begin their domestic Twenty20 tournament.

Zimbabwe celebrate a wicket against Pakistan in September in their last international fixture
Zimbabwe celebrate a wicket against Pakistan in September in their last international fixture

A spokesman for the Zimbabwe players' association also warned that the players were prepared to boycott next month's ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

The players have been forced into drastic action after a two-month dispute with Zimbabwe Cricket over payment.

The players' association have accused ZC of being "insincere" after promises of payments to end the stand-off failed to materialise.

All five provincial sides met at the Harare Sports Club, the venue for the Twenty20 competition, and decided not to play after ZC failed to follow up their vow to make the payments agreed with the players last week.

"ZC has been insincere in their dealing with the players," said Eliah Zvimba, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association. "At the moment we have reached a boiling point."

Zimbabwe's national squad took part in a brief training session last week, but the latest strike throws their place at the World Twenty20 into considerable doubt.

Zimbabwe have not had an international fixture since September, when the first strike threats surfaced due to non-payment.

Zimbabwe Cricket has since cancelled tours by Sri Lanka and Afghanistan due to their financial difficulties, and a proposed one-off Test against South Africa was also dismissed.

The governing body is believed to owe around $217,000 to players who have central contracts, accoriding to Zvimba, while franchise players are also awaiting payment.

Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak believes that the board will struggle to overcome their perilous financial position.

"The thing is ZC allowed things to get to this poor state. They have huge debts," Streak said.

"To get yourself out of that is hard. There are in a trap. With the reputation ZC has no one can give them things on credit. It's virtually impossible for them to get things back to normal again."

Zimbabwe Cricket is reported to have amassed debts of $18million, and they have requested a loan from the International Cricket Council.

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