Zimbabwe have been suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with immediate effect. ICC funding to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has been frozen, and the representative teams from Zimbabwe will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events while under suspension, making Zimbabwe’s participation in the Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in August and Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in October highly unlikely.
After several rounds of meetings in London this week, ICC’s board of members unanimously decided that ZC was in breach of Article 2.4 (c) and (d) of the ICC Constitution, and that the actions of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) in suspending the board in June constituted government interference in ZC’s affairs.
“We do not take the decision to suspend a Member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference,” ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said. “What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC Constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked.”
This is for the first time that a Full Member team has been suspended from partaking in any form of cricket.
Many former and current cricketers have expressed disappointment and anger over the ICC’s decision.
The African team has a forgettable history of events. While Zimbabwe’s Test cricket status was suspended in 2004 following the withdrawal of players due to then-captain Heath Streak’s sacking, the team’s ban was lifted in 2005, when they played eight Tests.
However, they failed to play a single Test match until 2011 despite being eligible to do so.
Recently, too, there has not been many positives to take into for Zimbabwe after the team, then led by Graeme Cremer, failed to qualify for the recently-concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Here’s how Sikandar Raza, Ravichandran Ashwin and others reacted on Twitter:
How one decision has made a team , strangers
How one decision has made so many people unemployed
How one decision effect so many families
How one decision has ended so many careers
Certainly not how I wanted to say goodbye to international cricket. @ICC pic.twitter.com/lEW02Qakwx
— Sikandar Raza (@SRazaB24) July 18, 2019
Extremely heart breaking news for all Zim cricketers and their fans, reading the tweets of @SRazaB24 just shows the agony of cricketers and how their life’s have been taken away from them. I pray that the lovely cricket nation returns to its glory asap! #ZimbabweCricket
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) July 19, 2019
@ICC It's heartbreaking to hear your verdict and suspend cricket in Zimbabwe. The @ZimbabweSrc has no government back round yet our Chairman is an MP? Hundreds of honest people,players, support staff,ground staff totally devoted to ZC out of a job,just like that. 💔
— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) July 18, 2019
“The ICC has directed that the elected Zimbabwe Cricket Board be reinstated to office within three months & progress in this respect will be considered again at the October Board meeting” This is an appalling decision @ICC – you are letting those who have destroyed cricket back.
— David Coltart (@DavidColtart) July 18, 2019
Have just seen the article re ZIM’s suspension from the ICC. Can not believe the stance they have taken to suspend Zim. Unbelievable that they condone having a corrupt board of the last 20 odd years continue running cricket here. It’s mind blowing. Thanks ICC.
— Malcolm jarvis (@malcolmpjarvis) July 18, 2019
Incredibly disappointed with ICC's decision to suspend Zimbabwe. Particularly considering interim measures taken and that Zim are far from the only board in which political interference is commonplace. Losing test nations at a time where they should be growing the game…
— Tasneem-Summer Khan (@summeryael) July 18, 2019
It's the women who suffer FIRST and suffer the MOST. We are living this reality now. We just want to play the sport we love. In peace. For Zimbabwe. You see what the @ZimGemsOfficial are doing, making Zimbabwe smile, that's all we wanted to do too. pic.twitter.com/Yx9bt1bRMM
— Mary-Anne Musonda 🇿🇼 (@Mutsa13) July 18, 2019