Rebel cricketers face sanctions

Agence France Presse

Harare, April 16:

White Zimbabwe cricketers in dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) over the dismissal of captain Heath Steak are to be disciplined after they defied instructions to report for training on Friday. The 15 players defied an ultimatum to join a practice session on Friday in spite of the ZCU making it clear they would face action if they did not show up. This could mean dismissal and loss of perks, including cars and allowances. A ZCU official said a meeting of the directors would decide shortly on “appropriate action”. The number of white players in dipute has now risen to 15 with Charles Coventry and Gavin Ewing joining what Peter Chingoka, president of the ZCU called the “dissidents”.

Meanwhile the players’ lawyer Chris Venturas met some of the players at his office earlier on Friday in a bid to persuade them to show up and keep the negotiating door open. But they ignored his advice. The was despite Chingoka making it clear that the Streak resignation — as he put it — is no longer for discussion. Streak left Harare on Thursday for his ranch

and safari operation near Bulawayo, 450 kilometres west of the capital, where Zimbabwe play Sri Lanka next week.

Some of the other players were at a suburban coffee shop while the Zimbabwe team selected to play Sri Lanka on Tuesday and Thursday practised at Harare Sports Club under national coach Geoff Marsh in drizzly conditions. One of the players in dispute, batsman Grant Flower said they would be sending their replacements — a “good luck message” on a cricketer-to-cricketer basis.