As England and Australia engaged in the game's oldest rivalry, the Zimbabweans were crushed 5-0 by the world's top-ranked team, making it impossible to forget the primary objective of the series: to keep cricket alive in an ailing country.
     
Zimbabwe Cricket's financial statement for 2012 confirmed that its liabilities exceeded its assets by USD 8.36 million, and listed more than USD 15 million worth of loans -- some of it from the International Cricket Council.
     
"Financially, we are not doing very well. The latest loss you will have seen from our report is that we're down about USD 4.2 million last year," ZC chairman Peter Chingoka said.
     
“We're carrying serious bank loans now which basically stagger us from one four-year cycle to the next," he said.
     
Although ZC was expected to make between USD 6 million and USD 8 million from the India tour, Chingoka confirmed that it will incur a loss of around USD 1 million per tour from hosting Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2013.
     
Cricket in Zimbabwe is already functioning in a threadbare environment, with ZC cutting its disbursements to franchise cricket by more than 50 per cent in 2012, and expenditure on players and officials falling from USD 4.48 million in 2011 to USD 2.14 million last year.
     
That may be a pittance on which to run a nation of Test cricketers, but without any answers to the current financial problems, Chingoka suggested that belts may be tightened further.

(Agencies)

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