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ZCU agrees on player contracts
08 Feb 2006
By: Liam Camps

Twenty-two Zimbabwean players have been offered contracts for a length of seven months, terminating at the end of August. Four other players - Gavin Ewing, Douglas Hondo, Mluleki Nkala and Tinashe Panyangara - will be offered contracts should they be passed fit after a medical examination. If the move is carried through, it would mean a resolution to a long-running dispute within Zimbabwean cricket.

The rift between the Board and the players went so far as to see Zimbabwe suspend its Test status indefinitely, and it now appears that it will be settled after a weekend of negotiations between the parties involved. Six of the twenty-two players are yet to sign the contracts, but will expectedly do so within 48 hours.

The new contracts will allow for inflation as it may be linked to the US-dollar. Further, players will be granted unpaid leave following the tour of the West Indies in May, and will therefore be allowed to play cricket overseas. Should they decline this allowance or fail to secure a club contract, the players may return to Zimbabwe and will receive a retainer fee.

Stuart Matsikenyeri has refused a contract, while Dion Ebrahim has made himself available for selection despite receiving a contract offer. Hamilton Masakadza has asked for study leave as he pursues his university career in South Africa.

Contracts (Signed):

Andy Blignaut, Elton Chigumbura, Charles Coventry, Keith Dabengwa, Terrence Duffin, Anthony Ireland, Blessing Mahwire, Bernard Mlambo, Christopher Mpofu, Tawanda Mupariwa, Allan and Waddington Mwayenga, Edward Rainsford, Vusumuzi Sibanda, Gregory Strydom and Prosper Utseya.

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