Pending the issuance of a court order, Zimbabwe's Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has effectively reversed its suspension of Zimbabwe Cricket's original directors and dissolved the interim committee that had been put in place to run cricket in the country. The ruling also comes in the wake of ICC's letter to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) on 24 July directing them to "unconditionally" reinstate the ousted board or risk termination of their membership.
"Pursuant to formal engagement initiated by the affected Directors, the SRC is pleased to advise that the above matter, pending before the Administrative Court of Zimbabwe, has been settled with the parties thereto, including the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation agreeing to an Order by Consent," read a statement released by the SRC on Thursday.
"Once issued by the Administrative Court, the Order will have the effect, inter alia, of lifting the suspension of the Directors of Zimbabwe Cricket, as well as that of the Acting Managing Director [Givemore Makoni] thereof."
The suspended ZC board had appealed the SRC's original sanction at an administrative court in June. The appeal was initially dismissed on a technicality, but ZC re-launched their appeal and the matter remained sub judice, even as the ICC moved to suspend Zimbabwe's membership last month.
Both the SRC and the interim committee, headed by former ZC chairman Dave Ellman-Brown, had been under significant pressure since the ICC's suspension. Calls for Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry to intervene and engineer a resolution between the SRC and ZC escalated, and last week the affected parties finally met, breaking the impasse.
The SRC's latest statement further added that the interim committee "shall cease to be responsible for the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket" once the court order is issued. "The effective date of these respective occurrences shall be the date of issuance of the Consent Order by the Registrar of the Administrative Court of Zimbabwe," the statement concluded.
The move is in compliance with the ICC's order to reinstate chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and his board but it has come too late to save the participation of the two Zimbabwean senior sides at the T20 World Cup qalifiers. The women's side have already been replaced by Namibia for the qualifiers in Scotland at the end of the month, while the ICC announced Tuesday that Nigeria would take Zimbabwe's spot in the men's qualifiers in October.