Zimbabwe aim to resume domestic cricket in the country on February 10, ending a nearly two-month-long strike with the recommencement of their 20-overs tournament. February 10 is also the day the players expect to be paid their outstanding salaries. The players were assured they would be paid in full, after which they could start their preparation for the World T20.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor had tweeted on Monday night: “Finally we start training together tomorrow! Don’t worry a lot of individual training has taken place since the beginning of the year.” Coach Andy Waller also told AP that the national squad will gather on Tuesday for fielding practice and fitness tests after agreeing to end the boycott.
“Obviously I’m relieved that at least we can get on with the core business,” Waller said. “We are starting training tomorrow [Tuesday] as a squad. We lost quite a substantial amount of time that we could have used to work on a few areas, but we’ve still got six weeks [to the World T20], which can give us plenty of time to prepare.”
A meeting was held on Friday between the players, technical staff and Zimbabwe Cricket officials to resolve the issues prompting the strike, which put Zimbabwe’s cricket on hold. ZC has also asked the ICC for a loan to compensate the players, support staff and conduct matches, even though their debt has swollen to US$18 million.
Zimbabwe last played international cricket in September, against Pakistan, and then had series against Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and a one-off Test against South Africa cancelled due to lack of funds and the players’ boycott. The last domestic matches played in Zimbabwe were in mid-December before the players decided to go strike.