Zimbabwe Cricket terms Sikandar Raza’s tweet as misleading, patently false
Sikandar Raza has played 10 Tests, 85 ODIS and 28 T20Is for Zimbabwe. @Getty

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has issued a length and detailed statement in regards to allrounder Sikandar Raza’s social media post from September 7 in which he alleged that he had not been given a contract by ZC’s acting managing director, Givemore Makani.

In a tweet on Friday, Raza said that his agent had informed him that Makani had apparently not offered him a contract and that he would not be considered for selection for Zimbabwe’s upcoming tours of South Africa and Bangladesh. According to Raza, he and his agent had not been appraised of the reasons for this decision.

On Saturday, ZC released a statement in which it said that Raza was indeed not offered a new central contract, but that the call had been taken by the board’s Contracts Committee and not the acting MD, Makoni. In ZC’s views, in choosing to tweet on the matter of his non-selection, Raza has chosen to “create a storm in a teacup by mounting a social media publicity stunt meant to portray ZC, its board, management and staff in bad light”.

“As a matter of policy, we do not discuss employee issues in the media beyond making the necessary announcements. But when one deliberately misleads the unsuspecting public or makes patently false allegations that seek to tarnish the image of ZC and bring the game of cricket into disrepute, we unfortunately have to deviate from the norm,” read the statement from ZC.

“For the record, we can confirm that Raza was not among the players offered new central contracts. This decision was made solely by ZC’s Contracts Committee and not by the Acting Managing Director, Mr Givemore Makoni, as Raza alleges in his posts. However, what Mr Makoni has done in the past – and Raza knows this – was to help Raza’s career by having him play for Southern Rocks which Mr Makoni was managing while he also supported Raza’s move to get Zimbabwean citizenship. Raza also knows what he did resulted in him not getting a new ZC contract. Normally, contracts are a confidential matter between employer and employee, but because Raza has gone public we are also having to respond publicly.”

The statement goes on to say that Raza had “brazenly flouted” his contract by going to play club cricket in England without first obtaining a no-objection certificate (NOC) from he the board, “as is the standard practice in the professional game worldwide”. ZC has also stated that when Raza did apply for an NOC, it was turned down as the board “needed his services”. This, according to ZC, promoted Raza to “unilaterally” terminate his contract to play the inaugural Global T20 Canada.

“When considering who to offer a contract, the Contracts Committee does not only look at an individual player’s statistics, fitness and performances, but also one’s attitude, discipline and commitment not only to ZC but more importantly to Zimbabwe,” said ZC. “Unfortunately, Raza did not tick all the boxes and so the Contracts Committee decided he was not deserving of a contract this time round. The available contracts were awarded to other players who have consistently shown their professionalism and desire to represent their country.”

Raza, who has played 10 Tests, 85 ODIS and 28 T20Is for Zimbabwe, was one of five players not named in the T20I squad to face Australia and Pakistan at home over an ongoing player-board fracas over non-payment of salaries. Raza subsequently played the Global T20 in Canada.

“While we understand Raza’s disappointment at not getting a new central contract, we wish to remind him that ZC, as the custodian of the national game of cricket in Zimbabwe, has the prerogative to make decisions to take the sport forward,” said ZC. “One of those cannot be to give a central contract to the same player who unilaterally and insolently terminated his old one.”