~~Middleman~~ Hoggs resigns over failed mission

Published: Friday, June 18, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Harare:Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) chief executive Vincent Hogg has resigned.

His resignation comes following a bitter row with 15 white players after the sacking of captain Heath Streak.

Hogg has notified ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka and the 12-man board of directors of his decision and will quit his functions on August 6 two days before the scheduled ZCU annual meeting.

"The past few months have been really strenuous for me. I have decided to resign because I was no longer enjoying the work," explained Hogg.

Streak had objected to the selection policies of the ZCU which he claimed were compromising the success of the national team.

A second-string side was heavily beaten by Sri Lanka, and Australia's two-Test series in Zimbabwe was cancelled last month because of the weakness of the opposition although they did play three One-dayers.

And as a result of the row the ZCU agreed last week to suspend its Test matches for the remainder of 2004.

"I personally did not agree with the action taken by the players in boycotting games and breaching their contracts," said Hogg, who found himself as the middleman in the row.

It was Hogg who, at Streak's request, passed on to the directors at a formal meeting the former captain's objections to certain national selectors, which triggered the crisis.

"My view is that it was ill-conceived at the outset and has left both parties in Zimbabwe worse off," said Hogg.

"Unfortunately there have been no winners in this dispute. My hope is that a number of the players return to play cricket for Zimbabwe alongside Tatenda Taibu (the new captain)."

Hogg said it had been "a privilege" to work for cricket in Zimbabwe and to see the emergence of many talented cricketers, both black and white, over the past couple of years.

"As a former national player, it has been my wish to contribute to the building of a Zimbabwe team that can hold its own and earn the respect of all opponents."

Chingoka said that he accepted Hogg's resignation "with regret."

"We are sorry he wants to go, we respect his decision and the personal reason for it. He leaves the Union in a financially healthy state," said Chingoka.

"He has told me he will continue to be associated with the game that he has given so much to on and off the field."

Hogg was head-hunted in February 2002 as a replacement for David Ellman-Brown, a former lawyer and ZCU chairman.

He was an international standard fast bowler with Rhodesia. In the late 1960's and the 1970's he played in the South African Currie Cup before building up a high level experience in the Harare world of financial management.

Hogg's task with the ZCU had been to oversee the development and smooth running of cricket in Zimbabwe as it moved into its second decade as a Test nation and as a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). He had control of a staff exceeding 250 and a multi-million dollar budget.

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