| Heath Streak
Harare: The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) has fired former captain Heath Streak and 14 other rebel players who went into dispute with the board last month.
A ZCU statement on Monday said the players had violated a 21-day breach clause in their contracts by not returning to work by May 7. The decision was taken at a ZCU board meeting on Monday.
According to a late report, 12 Zimbabwe cricketers will sue the ZCU after being sacked on Monday and will issue a writ in a few days’ time alleging breach of contract. Though the ZCU sacked 15 rebels, in practice, however, there are only 12 cricketers involved as three have already gone overseas seeking employment.
The statement also added that any player who makes himself available for selection would be considered “subject to his commitment, form and fitness”.
The dispute started on April 2 when Streak’s tenure as Zimbabwe captain ended after he questioned the composition of the selection panel.
Fourteen other white players came out in support of Streak, and the group demanded arbitration on his removal from the captaincy, the composition of the selection panel and alleged poor conduct of ZCU officials.
The ZCU’s decision to fire the players came about while they were meeting their lawyer to draft their agreement to the board’s offer of mediation to resolve the dispute.
“We were talking about officially accepting mediation and we were going to make ourselves available for practice,” Stuart Carlisle, one of the rebels, said.
“Then we got a phone call to say our contracts have been terminated.”
Carlisle said the ZCU did not appear to have acknowledged that the players suspended their boycott last week and made themselves available, albeit temporarily.
“They did not accept that we remedied our original breach of contract when we went back to practice last week,” he said.
Carlisle said the ZCU had demanded that the players return their sponsored vehicles by Wednesday and would pay them until Friday.
Mahwire reported for suspect action
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Blessing Mawhire has been reported for a suspect bowling action, the ICC said on Monday. The report was made by match officials during the first Test between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in Harare.