I will play for free, declares senior Zimbabwe player

Graeme Cremer and Sikander Raza (Getty Images)
Graeme Cremer and Sikander Raza (Getty Images)

Cape Town - A senior Zimbabwe player says he is willing to play international cricket without being paid in the short-term if it will help keep the sport alive in country.

Zimbabwe was suspended from participating in all cricketing activities after the ICC alleged that there had been government interference in the game.

The suspension came after Zimbabwe sport minister Kirsty Coventry appointed a Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to oversee the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket, who were subsequently disbanded by the SRC.

The ICC have instructed Zimbabwe Cricket to reinstate the previous board and they must do so before October 8 when the sport's governing body plan to next convene for a board meeting.

As things currently stand Zimbabwe will not play in the T20 World Cup qualifiers to be held in the UAE in October and November but some players are willing to play for free if they see a long-term plan in place.

"We will play for free as long as we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," a senior squad member told ESPNcricinfo.

"Our next assignment is the (T20 World Cup) qualifiers. I will play for free as long as we are assured that we will be paid eventually.

"We will play qualifiers for the sake of cricket staying alive and for free but to be paid late and not never."

Another player said: "As long as there's a future and you can see that things are going to fall into place, I have no doubt that most guys would."

The SRC has said there is a contingency plan to deal with player welfare while Zimbabwe are under suspension, but the details of this plan have not as yet been communicated to the players.

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