Sikandar Raza not given Zimbabwe contract

Sikandar Raza made another important contribution IDI/Getty

Sikandar Raza has not been offered a new central contract by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), who claim the batsman breached the conditions of his previous agreement with the board.

In a statement issued on Saturday, ZC revealed Raza had played club cricket in England without a no-objection certificate (NOC), then applied for one - which was denied - and then terminated his contract to play in Canada's Global T20 tournament.

"When considering whom 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," ZC said. "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."

However, ZC left the door open for Raza to return to the national team. "Players without central contracts - and Raza is now one of them - are always considered for national duty at the discretion of the National Selection Panel that also looks at several factors before picking a player."

Raza, who posted the news about losing his contract on his Twitter account on Friday, said he was under the impression that he would "not be considered for selection" for the South Africa and Bangladesh tours and the reasons for the non-renewal were "unknown" to him. Raza wrote that he remains, "available and committed."

His tweet was shared by commentators Alan Wilkins and Mpumelelo Mbangwa, a former Zimbabwe player, who told ZC and Raza to "talk to each other, not at or past one another." ZC claim Raza did not engage the board over his concerns and chose to post on social media instead.

Raza was one of five major players who did not participate in the T20 triangular series involving Australia and Pakistan in July, and the ODIs against Pakistan. The four others - Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams - made themselves unavailable to play for Zimbabwe because of non-payment of salaries.

ZC owed its players four months' worth of salaries and match fees from their tour to Sri Lanka in July-August last year, and the players opted not to work until they could be paid. Since then, ZC has been placed on a financial plan provided by the ICC, in which they are on a drip-feed of funds and restructured their debt. In doing so, ZC did not renew most of their staff contracts at the end of August. A small number of staff will be hired to work on the new domestic season, which is likely to start in November. Besides, player contracts are being issued, though the central contract list has not been released yet.

Zimbabwe do not host any international cricket until the second half of next year but have away assignments including a white-ball tour of South Africa at the end of this month and a series in Bangladesh in October. They will be without Cremer for both series as he recovers from knee surgery.