Sean Ervine revealed the difficulty of his World Cup dilemma but admitted: I’m glad I came back to Hampshire.
The burly Zimbabwean admitted he was set on returning to international cricket for the recent showpiece, which would have meant the end of his Rose Bowl career.
But the all-rounder will be back in a Hampshire shirt for today’s County Championship opener against Durham after a change of heart saw him turn down a World Cup place to stay in county cricket as a Kolpak player.
Ervine explained: ‘Zimbabwe told me they wanted me to go back out there and play.
‘We went through a few negotiations and talks but I wanted to speak to Rod (Bransgrove) and Chalky (Giles White) personally before anything went ahead.
‘But Zimbabwe went ahead and just announced I would be in the World Cup squad.
‘When I got to the Caribbean, I was probably 100-per-cent confident I would go with Zimbabwe.
‘But then there were a few issues and I knew it would be a wrong decision if I made it.
‘It was either me going to play for Zimbabwe, which is a risk, or carry on playing for Hampshire, which is a security thing.
‘It was hard but it was pretty clear in the end. Watching the guys play in the World Cup, I was a bit disappointed I wasn’t there but I knew that afterwards some of the problems would start.’
While Zimbabwean cricket is moving in the right direction, Ervine knows himself there are still plenty of problems, which helped him with his decision to stay at the Rose Bowl.
He said: ‘All of the players are being cut 60-per-cent of their salary because Zimbabwe Cricket have got no money – that’s a big thing.
‘My brother Craig was on £1,500 a month before that, not including match fees, but it goes to show you what it’s like.
‘It was always the case that time would tell with Zimbabwe and it is showing already. There weren’t even any fixtures organised.
‘There were supposed to be games against Bangladesh in April or May and then Pakistan and New Zealand in August – now they have been canned and put back to later in the year.
‘Everyone talks about it being back on track and in a lot of ways it has improved but it’s more about the ICC putting in their money and which direction this money is going.
‘Maybe I’ve had a lucky escape.
‘Every cricketer is trying to achieve the goal of playing international cricket but they need to sort out a lot of things on the administration side.’
Ervine will now turn his attentions to playing his part in Hampshire’s Championship challenge, which starts at the Rose Bowl today (11am).
Hampshire (from): Adams, Myburgh, Vince, McKenzie, Howell, Ervine, Pothas, Cork, de Wet, Jones, Briggs, Griffiths, Dawson
DURHAM (from): Stoneman, Di Venuto, Muchall, Stokes, Benkenstein, Blackwell, Mustard, Borthwick, Plunkett, Thorp, Claydon, Harmison, Coyne