By Almot Maqolo

Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South) – Zimbabwean cricketers offered a raw deal to train and acquire technical assistance at one of the academy in India free of charge with the first batch set to travel in a two months’ time from now, a cabinet minister said on Thursday.

Briefing the media after a meeting with the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar held in the capital Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane told the media that they discussed a number of issues pivotal for the development of global cricket as well as cricket in Zimbabwe.

The ICC boss is in Zimbabwe on a five day work visit in which he is expected to tour some of the cricket facilities in Harare and Chitungwiza and concluding his tour by visiting the majestic Victoria Falls.

“We also discussed the issue to do with an academy for Zimbabwean cricketers in India which Manohar have offered free of charge to Zimbabwean cricketers towards Zimbabwe cricket in his state in and we are grateful to him for that,” Hlongwane said.

“First contingent or first batch of our cricketers will be travelling to India to participate in a conditioning program under the direction of the academy in the month of October which is like 2 months from now and we will have another batch following immediately thereafter.”

He said the other issue of discussion was to do with the world cup qualifiers next year and due to be held in Zimbabwe.

“The ICC president has requested that we do provide guarantees at two levels, one the security guarantees for the teams that will be visiting the country including the athletes and technical officials and the staff from the ICC to make sure that the games are smooth and secondly to make sure that we do provide guarantees in terms of tax exemptions especially for the re exportable that do come to Zimbabwe.
< “I have assured Manohar for us that is standard practice this is the staff that we do all the time when we host international matches in that regard to such an extent certainly is going to be getting the guarantees that he requires in order for Zimbabwe to be able to host the world cup qualifiers in June of 2018,” he said.
Hlongwane said that, “The other issue was of re-engineering the debt with the ZC, you know that ZC is in debt to the tune of about $19 million we are working on a model of how that debt could be dealt with in way that would assist ZC in terms of standing, credibility, integrity within the community of cricketing nations we and we have taken very important decision in that regard which decisions would not want to announce to the media at the moment but are important as far as assisting the development of ZC and we are happy with the compromise that has been agreed between myself and the ICC chairman.

“The other one was to do with the ICC board meeting which we intend will have hosted in our country next year we have discussed the pathway to achieving that loft objective we are happy with the work that we think has already started in that direction we are going to be communicating with Manohar in that regards before the 28th of September to make sure that we tie all the loose ends in respect of making sure that the ICC board meeting is held in Zimbabwe next year in April,” he added.

ICC board chairman Manohar said the country have potential to be back on its right track both on the global arena and domestic.

“I am sure with the help of the sports minister and other government officials we will be able to solve all the problems regarding the Zimbabwean cricket,” he said.

Commenting on financial assistance to deal with the ZC debt he said, “We cannot disclose you the details in modalities of things on how we are going to work them up we have briefed you with regards to some of the major issues which we have discussed and when the things work out we will come back to you,” he said.

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