For the 8 year cycle from 2016-2023
Zimbabwe Cricket US$94m
Other Full Members US$132m
Associate Members share total funding of US$280m
While there were efforts to introduce administrative and perfomance clauses to retain Full Member status, this was never ever going to fly, so that idea was crushed
So what does this mean for ZC:ICC did agree to remove one significant proposal - the potential reclassification of Full Member status to Associate membership if a set of criteria was not met when a board was evaluated. Many Full Members including the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Zimbabwe Cricket and SLC were against it.
1. Rule of Law! As much as the other 11 Full Members were so looking forward to an additional US$8m (with IRE and AFG possibly getting US11m each instead), the law is THE LAW!!!
2. Just as the grossly stupid SRC and its allies, ICC would not have dared risk losing US$1 billion to ZC in a swift and easy court loss.
3. As things stand, there is no criteria by which ICC can expel ZC or downgrade ZC.
4. ICC are unable to just immediately expel a Full Member (or Associate) for government interference. They first suspend and afford time for them to resolve issues. So ZC has nothing to fear come October. The suspensions will unquestionably be "lifted" then, or sooner if somehow there is a meeting before then. So it's not exactly a case of "restoring ZC", but rather a matter of ICC "officially re-acknowledging ZC's officiality". Legally and effectively, ZC are no longer in a state of suspension.
5. This teaches the SRC a lot of lessons:
a) A mighty organisation like ICC understands the law which is is Constitution, and no matter how much the others may want ZC out, they would never be able to pull it off under any circumstances. SRC is supposed to know its Act, and act accordingly. From the Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry right down to SRC Chair Gerald Mlotshwa and his fellow Board Members and the Director General, plus former ZC Interim Board Chair Dave Ellman-Brown and the chosen Acting Managing Director Vince Hogg, none bothered to familiarise themselves with it. They were never going to be able to succeed to get rid of the ZC Board in a court of law yet persisted, risking great financial harm to not just the Sports Minstry, but the country's coffers.
b)It's not easy to create rules just to punish one sport or certain people. Under presser from Associates and then Affiliates ICC tried it with regards to ZC, but other Full Members joined against it for their own sakes. So much that ICC did not bother to include the proposal in the vote.In fact they couldn't! Likewise SRC should know that no matter how well-meaning any changes are, the motivation behind them must be sincere orit will fail! I personally believe in performance-based remuneration, and I thought the ICC was very generous in this: "To retain Full Member status, a Full Member needs to win at least one match against another Full Member in an ICC event. Every Full Member also needs to register at least four wins against a minimum of two other Full Members in bilateral series. Both these criteria need to be satisfied every eight years.". Yet it was still rejected, despite the high unlikelihood of ZIM/IRE/AFG/BD/WI/SL failing, in a period of 8 years to either win a CWC(or qualifiers as Zimbabwe did in the qualifiers they hosted recently?), or win a total of 4 Tests/ODIs/T20s against at least two of their fellow Full Members. SRC runs sports in Zimbabwe. Likewise any effort to create a ZC-rule or ZIFA-rule, no matter how seemingly fair, will fail.
c)To see SRC being thoroughly humbled by conceding - via the courts - to misapplying its own Act, is I hope a sign of better things to come. (I expect the Sports Minister to either dissolve her board over this, or be beaten by that stick in Parliament for the rest of her tenure or simply cowardly resign and leave someone else to dissolve it. I think we can all agree that the Sports Minster and her SRC will effectively be castrated in the proverbial sense were nothing to happen. A sitting duck Sports Minister and SRC basically means ZC will never be touched again, at least for the forseable future. And yes those are Mukuhlani-Makoni high fives you hear ... and the eternal clashing of Googly-jimmy heads under the sand.)
The forum has a lesson to learn as well. Background:
a) SRC Board had just recently been put together (and mass reservations of conflicts of interest were raised by many sporting bodies in Zimbabwe)
b)Anyway, any extreme decisions SRCtook had to be legal, based on irrefutable evidence, plus had to be rubberstamped by the courts. They disregarded this.
c)There are Executives, and non-Executives. The moment they targeted Givemore Makoni alone (despite the number of other Executives in eg Finance and HR), even though Makoni was in comparison Acting, it was clearly now personal, and they had ventured beyond politics to a Labour issue they were going to lose costly and embarassingly in court! This was very amateurish. Makoni was no threat from an SRC-level perspective and could have been easily suspended by the Interim Board afterwards, not the SRC.
d) It was extremely careless to attempt to suspend a ZC elective AGM (which is constitutional) without the permission of the ICC(which demands it of their Member). I don't believe the ICC would have had an issue with granting SRC a delay in ZC elections for say 14-21 days, having being asked to do so respectfully and with reasons that the new SRC Board intend to investigate or evaluate all Sports Bodies in the country - even if there is no prima facie evidence of anything yet. How such a basic move was not made will remain a mystery. Surely within a week you could have found some technicality which rendered some of them unfit to stand for elections. Alas, zero patience and tact.
e)SRC Act gives the Sports Minister enormous power, that it was impossible for any SRC decision to be separated from her government. Sadly, Kirsty Coventry as a legislator now, was unaware of this, and her party's(?) Chief Whip seemingly knew this. Looking back, she'll feel very silly listening to or reading about herself repeatedly say or tweet "There was no government interference".
I just had to ...
The simple lesson for the forum is, what we all have in common(albeit for varying reasons), is an appreciation for Zimbabwe Cricket and its wellbeing. Our perspectives of what qualifies an ideal ZC will differ. Our approaches to attaining that ideal will differ as well. However, no matter our wishes, we cannot be selective about which laws to apply or not to apply to those we don't like.
Josiah Bancroft - “If the law is malleable, if it bends and conforms to man, then man will become resolute in his flaws. The law exists to give shape to man's ideals."
Steven Cromack - "If history is malleable, then the law is malleable, and that is a scary concept."