Mugabe to step down as patron?
Reports with leading cricket publisher this week suggest that President Robert Mugabe may step aside as patron of Zimbabwe Cricket.
Mugabe has been patron and a fan of cricket for a number of years and was famously quoted in the pa

st as saying “Cricket civilizes people and creates good gentlemen, I want everyone inside Zimbabwe to play cricket, I want our nation to be one of gentlemen”.
While Mugabe plays no active role in Zimbabwean Cricket, his links with the board has often been used by opponents as an indication of his government’s influence over the game. Brigadier Gibson Mashingaidze, who is the head of the Sports and Recreation Commission – the body that intervened in breaking up the infighting inside Zimbabwe cricket in January 2006, told a group of journalists in Kwekwe last month that President Mugabe was no longer patron. Mashingaidze added, “We battled against the sports ministry to remove his Excellency from the patronancy of Zimbabwe Cricket.” a source close to Mashingaidze said that the reason for Mugabe’s withdrawal was that he feared that his image was being tarnished by the arguments blighting the game. The source added, “Mashingaidze is known to be a bit sensational and on the loose-cannon side, and his statement cannot be taken as official.” This statement may turn out to be true, considering Zimbabwe Cricket earns such large amounts of much-needed foreign currency – of the forex earned, very little actually lands up in the hands of the players.
ZC in the future can expect to receive much less financial assistance from the ICC after it was motioned last week by the ICC cricket committee to keep Zimbabwe out of test cricket until their playing standards improve. This may well trigger another exodus of players as it is widely rumoured that several Zimbabwe players are only hanging on to be paid at the end of June before they decide whether to call it quits.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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