The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday suspended Zimbabwe after the country’s cricket board, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), was unable to keep out government's interference with the board's administration.
This is for the first time that a Full Member team has been suspended from partaking in any form of cricket.
Many former and current players from the country have expressed disappointment and anger over the decision.
The African team has a forgettable history of events. While Zimbabwe’s Test cricket status was suspended in 2004 following withdrawal of players due to then-captain Heath Streak’s sacking, the team’s ban was lifted in 2005, when they played eight Tests.
However, they failed to play a single Test match until 2011 despite being eligible to do so.
Recently, too, there has not been much positives to take into for Zimbabwe after the team, then led by Graeme Cremer, failed to qualify for the recently-concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Here’s all you need to know about Zimbabwe Cricket’s suspension:
Why was Zimbabwe Cricket suspended?
Zimbabwe Cricket was suspended on 18 July after the board failed to ensure that there was no government interference in running the cricket body in the country. Cricket's global body during their meeting in London, issued a statement on Zimbabwe's immediate suspension after it was unanimously decided that the board had failed to fulfil their obligation to provide a process for a transparent elections and to ensure that there is no meddling from the government involved in its administration for cricket.
"Zimbabwe Cricket has been suspended with immediate effect. The ICC Board unanimously decided that Zimbabwe Cricket, an ICC Full Member, is in breach of Article 2.4 (c) and (d) of the ICC Constitution which imposes an obligation on Members to provide a process for free and democratic elections and to ensure that there is no government interference in its governance and / or administration for cricket respectively," the ICC said in a statement.
How long will Zimbabwe Cricket be suspended for?
The ICC has not clearly stated how long ZC is suspended for. However, they are likely to revisit the issue of re-instating in their next meeting in October. In the three months time, if the board is not reinstated, Zimbabwe could be expelled.
What does this mean for Zimbabwe Cricket?
In what is a huge blow to the sport in the country, the ICC has frozen all its fundings towards ZC and that also meant that all their national team would be ineligible to participate in any ICC events-including the upcoming ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifiers starting from 31 August while the Men's T20 World Cup Qualifiers are to be held in October.
What are the past instances of teams being suspended?
While Sri Lanka were on the verge of suspension in 2015 due to government interference, the Croatian Cricket Federation and the Zambia Cricket Union have also suffered the same fate as of Zimbabwe after being banned for being non-compliant.
ICC have suspended various Associate Members in the past, Nepal is still under suspension. However, Nepal's national teams have been allowed to continue participating in ICC events during suspension, similarly even the United States of America during their recent suspension and expulsion period from June 2015 through January 2019 took part in ICC events.
Meanwhile, the Moroccan Royal Cricket Federation suffered a horrific fate after being expelled from ICC’s membership for failing to meet ICC's membership criteria. Thereby bringing down the total number of members to 104.