Islamabad: Stand-in Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza has dismissed rumours of a boycott of the second Test against Pakistan, saying that his team`s players will definitely play the match, following the players receiving some of their outstanding payments on Friday.
According to the Daily Times, the Zimbabwe players` union had been threatening a boycott during the series against Pakistan since it began three weeks ago because of unpaid salaries, although they have not followed through with any of their ultimatums.
Although the players had threatened to initially boycott the final ODI of the tour, the negotiations of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) with the players bought the board more time and extended the deadline for payment to the eve of the first Test, and then to September 6.
However, Masakadza has allayed fears of a boycott of the second Test with his statement although both the players and the staff have outstanding dues for their July and August salaries, and the report added that despite the lack of funds, the players were relaxed post-match and enjoyed drinks and debrief in the change room after the first Test.
According to the report, the second Test beginning on September 10 could also be Zimbabwe`s last of 2013, with Sri Lanka Cricket saying ZC had sought a postponement of their bilateral series scheduled for October as that the board is already steeped in debt with the latest figure reflecting around 15 million dollars in the red.
In another move to cut costs, ZC had shifted the venue for the second Test from Bulawayo to Harare - by doing so, the board will save more than 50,000 dollars on travel and hotel expenses, the report added.