FORMER national cricket team mentor Heath Streak reportedly took two pay cuts during his tenure amid revelations by ex-Minister of Sport Senator David Coltart that the coach was paid 40 percent of his February salary.
Streak, a former Chevrons fast bowler, who was sacked on Good Friday together with convener of selectors Tatenda Taibu said: a�?Thank you to my staff who worked tirelessly, often going for months unpaid and having had two pay-cuts during our tenure, but still had that unwavering professional commitment.a�?
Senator Coltart, an ardent follower of cricket said the recent decision by the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to fire Streak and Taibu may irreparably damage cricket in the country.
a�?A little known fact is that on the 27th of February, just five days before Zimbabwea��s opening match against Nepal, Zimbabwe Cricketa��s Head of Human Resources Nesta Vaki wrote to all staff, including the players to announce that due to a�?ongoing cash flow challengesa�? staff, including players, would only be paid 40 percentA� of their net salaries.
a�?A copy of that letter is attached on my Facebook profile.
a�?On receipt of this news Streak, convinced that it would undermine the morale of his players, urgently discussed the matter with the Zimbabwe Cricket CEO and the Chairman. Streak advised that he was prepared to take the cut himself but insisted that the players be paid. Eventually the board relented and the players were paid. Streak however, was only paid 40% of his salary,a�? said the former minister.
Streak was sacked in a backroom clear-out in the wake of the teama��s failure to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
a�?What is not in the public domain is the fact that the entire current national team opposes the decision taken by the board. I have it on exceptionally good and reliable authority that the team is appalled by this decision. We are now in grave danger not only of undermining the morale of the current crop of national players but also of losing some of our key players. If this decision results in a similar loss of experience as happened in 2004 Zimbabwe Cricket may never recover and we may go the same way Kenya went and become just another second-class cricketing nation,a�? said SenatorA� Coltart.
He added: a�?The resultant loss of income, national profile and national pride will be completely against our national interest. Conversely if cricket grows as it should it will be the source of foreign exchange and a livelihood for thousands in the years to come. Our economy cannot afford the collapse of yet another once vibrant sector.a�?
Streak has been widely praised for improving the results of the side during his 18 months in charge and exits along with his technical team, while captain Graeme Cremer has also reportedly been axed.
ZC have had a clear-out of all backroom staff amid reports of financial difficulties, including batting coach Lance Klusener, Zimbabwe A coach Wayne James and Under-19 coach Stephen Mangongo.
a�?It seems as if Zimbabwe Cricket is now facing worse financial turmoil than ever before. The national players have recently been told by management that they will not receive their salaries for March. In the same communication they have been told that the board is a�?trying to raise fundinga�? and they are hopeful that the crisis may a�?ease in Junea�?.
a�?Clearly there is need for an urgent audit to be conducted by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to establish what the actual financial state of Zimbabwe Cricket is,a�? said Senator Coltart.
The undoubted highlight of Streaka��s tenure was a 3-2 One-Day International series win in Sri Lanka last year, while his 32 matches in the format produced 12 wins and 17 losses.
But he was also left embarrassed by a innings defeat to South Africa inside two days at the end of 2017 in a day/night test in Port Elizabeth, while a three-run loss to the United Arab Emirates in the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe saw his side fail to reach the 10-team tournament finals in England and Wales.