|Heath Streak during a ‘private’ practice session with other rebel players at the Cricket Academy
in Harare on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Calcutta: Unless the parties renege on an informal understanding, reached late on Wednesday, five rebels — including Heath Streak — will make themselves available for the Tests and ODIs against Australia.
According to The Telegraph’ssources, Streak and four others are returning to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) fold after a day of frenetic behind-the-scenes activity.
It’s not clear, though, whether Streak is going to straightaway get back the captaincy, currently held by young Tatenda Taibu.
The face-off, it may be recalled, began on April 2 when Streak was sacked as captain after he questioned the credentials of the selection committee. Fourteen players, all of them also White, came out in his support and made themselves unavailable for national duty.
After a wait, the ZCU terminated their contracts.
Significantly, Board of Control for Cricket in India president Jagmohan Dalmiya played an active role in Wednesday’s dialogue which (among others) featured International Cricket Council (ICC) chief Ehsan Mani and Cricket Australia chairman Bob Merriman.
The cynosure, of course, was Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) boss Peter Chingoka.
The details of the informal understanding weren’t immediately available, but one learns that Streak and the four others will be ‘screened’ by a committee before the selectors are given the option of choosing them for the first Test, in Harare, from Saturday.
Apparently, the rest of the rebels — excluding the Sean Irvines, that is — could make themselves available for the second and last Test. For the three ODIs as well.
Given the welcome developments, it’s highly unlikely that the ICC — badly snubbed by the ZCU on Tuesday — is going to go ahead with Friday’s teleconference to deliberate on whether to strip the two Tests of official status.
Still, the ICC will wait for a formal communication from the ZCU.
Dalmiya (incidentally, a former ICC president) wasn’t available for comment, but sources confirmed he made two points during talks with Chingoka: That either the face-off ends “immediately” or the Test series be “deferred.”
Test cricket can’t be devalued.