The ongoing pay dispute continues to torment Zimbabwe cricket, as the African nation is set to field a severely weakened team in the triangular T20I series against Pakistan and Australia.

Zimbabwe Cricket had already announced the 22-man list and had excluded five of its leading players. And now Cricbuzz has reported that several players in that squad could also sit out if they do not receive the money owed to them by their June 25 deadline. The list is going to get trimmed to 15 later.

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The five excluded players are former skipper, Graeme Cremer, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams. All five players missed a warm-up Twenty20 series in Harare that finished on Tuesday (June 19).

The players have made it clear they need their pay cheque before playing for Zimbabwe again.

Cremer and Taylor (Credits: AP)

Zimbabwe cricket have not paid the players their salaries for quite some time now. Not only that, the players are yet to receive the match fees from their tour of Sri Lanka last July.

After promising last month they would settle their dues before the end of June, Zimbabwe Cricket recently admitted salaries would only be paid by the end of July at best.

The players, on the other hand, have threatened to boycott the upcoming series if they do not receive their money by June 25. And they are likely to consider their involvement, as Pakistan and Australia arrive in the country next week.

At least two of the players selected in the squad are expected to withdraw if the payments are not made.

However, it is unlikely all the players would walk away. As such, Zimbabwe will have to play with a severely depleted squad.

“It’s the same old story, no one knows what’s going on and it seems it’s every man for himself,” one source told Cricbuzz. “No one really spoke about it this week (during the warm-up games), and guys are not interested in talking about it. You know how it is, guys get their arms twisted behind the scenes and get scared. Hopefully it all works out, we’ll know in a few days what is happening I guess.”

The tri-series gets underway on July 1.