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The End is Nigh
07 Jan 2006
By: Sudeep Popat

In a move that is most likely to script the final chapter in the demise of Zimbabwean cricket, the country's government has taken over Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), the national board.

Gibson Mashingaidze, an army brigadier and chief of the government's Sports and Recreation Commission, announced at a press conference that Peter Chingoka, who had earlier been oust, has been reinstated, as the head of an interim ZC board.

The new board consists mostly of government officials with no prior experience in cricket, as well as only four retainees - Cyprian Mandenge, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, Ntokozo Ncube and Wilson Manase.

Whether or not Ovais Bvute, a close friend of Chingoka, who had been accused of the same allegations, has been reinstated is not known. He was seen with several government officials throughout the week, which could mean that he will get to keep his place as managing director of ZC.

All the white and Asian directors from the former board have been left out, ironically, on the basis that they worked for "their racial connotations and saving their own agendas and not government policy."

Against the possibility of a ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC), Mashingaidze blatantly said, "We are prepared to be chucked out of the Test status. The government is saying we are starting afresh. We are not bothered.

"Those who want to stay in can stay, but those who want to go are free to go. They can go to India, Canada or wherever. We are not bothered. The government will not be held at ransome by individuals." This most likely ends the road for the players too, who have been contemplating to leave Zimbabwean cricket since a long time.

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