Zimbabwe players split over race quota

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The Independent Online

Zimbabwe's players considered striking before their final match in the one-day series against England after a series of rows with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

A Zimbabwean source said the players had not been paid for six weeks and had not received new contracts. He added that the imposition of racial quotas was also dividing the squad.

According to a ZCU document released this year, the national team should include at least three black players, rising to four by January and six by September 2004.

Zimbabwe fielded just two black players for the final one-day international against England. Their leading black player, Henry Olonga, missed most of the series, which England won 5-0, through injury.

Signs of unhappiness within the squad emerged in June when Heath Streak gave up the captaincy and went on strike on the morning of the first one-day international against the West Indies, citing differences of opinion over selection.

Zimbabwe have lost their last 12 one-day internationals and their last two Test series, to the West Indies and South Africa.

The Kenya captain Maurice Odumbe has been banned for two matches for making critical public comments about an umpire. After Kenya's nine wicket loss to South Africa in Kimberley on Sunday, Odumbe accused one of the umpires of contravening the spirit of cricket.

"I must point out that there was one gentleman out there who was not very friendly towards us and I have put that in my report," Odumbe said. "If you ask an official to show you where you are overstepping and he turns round and says 'look for yourself – the marks are there', I don't think that is in the spirit of the game."

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