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Zimbabwe Cricket decides not to renew staff contracts as restructure begins

Zimbabwean fans put up banners in the stands ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) will not renew the contracts of "almost all" of its staff members when they expire at the end of August as the organisation begins a radical financial restructure. Player contracts will be reviewed and agreed next week.

"These are tough times and tough decisions are required to preserve cricket in Zimbabwe," ZC said in a release.

Zimbabwe Cricket remains committed to restarting its domestic season in November, and to hiring a small complement of staff to suit its needs.

The drastic measures are a consequence of the drip-feed of funding ZC will receive from the ICC, who offered ZC a lifeline after their annual conference in June. In essence, ZC will no longer receive two annual payouts like other Member Countries, but funds as needed to prevent over-expenditure and help ZC manage its substantial debt; for instance, the ICC approved a release of funds earlier in the month to pay outstanding player salaries, which have been four months overdue.

The extended non-payment led to five prominent players - Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Sikander Raza, Craig Irvine and Sean Williams - sitting out the T20 triangular series against Australia and Pakistan and five-match ODI series against Pakistan. Taylor had committed himself to "getting back to work" once payments are made. Zimbabwe's next assignment is three ODIs and three T20s against South Africa, starting from the end of September.