Sikander Raza was vocal in his disappointment and anger after Zimbabwe cricket came crashing down on Thursday. The International Cricket Council suspended Zimbabwe for breach of its constitution on Thursday, leaving the cricketers’ future in limbo.
The batting all-rounder expressed the confusion and heartbreak of his teammates as none of them have any clue of how to go about after this debacle, saying their cricket and livelihoods have been taken away.
“We are still in shock to be honest, seeing how our international career can come to an end like that. I am not coming to terms with it so easily, and I am sure my team-mates feel the same way. Where do we go from here? Is there a way out?” Raza told ESPNcricinfo.
As of now, there is no concrete future for Zimbabwe cricketers. As per the ruling, ICC’s funding will freeze and the team will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events. Their next tournament was to be the T20 World Cup next year.
The 33-year-old even provided with what could have potentially been a solution to the ongoing mess.
He said that ICC should have directly overseen the Zimbabwe Cricket elections process in June, when the government’s Sports and Recreation Commission dismissed the board which led to this decision. Currently, ICC has given Zimbabwe Cricket time till the next ICC meeting in October to resolve the issue.
However, Raza said that ICC should have at least allowed them to play cricket while an immediate suspension means a lot of careers have effectively ended.
“I don’t know the conditions but to totally suspend us from playing cricket, while you allow whoever is responsible to get our house in order, you basically stop cricket in Zimbabwe.”
For now it seems to be a crossroads for Zimbabwe cricketers and he didn’t shy away from voicing his frustration.
“I don’t know where we go as international cricketers. Is it club cricket or no cricket for us? Do we just burn our kits and apply for jobs? I don’t know what we have to do right now.”
The disillusionment is not new, Raza had voiced his disappointment at the ICC’s decision to have only 10 teams at the 2019 World Cup during the World Cup Qualifiers last year.
And with this new decision, he has accepted that his words will have no impact on the governing body. “I just thought the motto was to grow the game, and it keeps on shrinking.”
Read the full interview here