Editorial comment: There’s hope for our cricket

ZIMBABWE Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani will be the first to admit that things have not been going according to plan, especially when it comes to the Chevrons, in the past few months.

Four months ago, the lowest point came when the Chevrons failed to qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup after a miserable campaign in Namibia where they arrived as odd-on favourites to qualify.

Instead, a lifeless Chevrons, playing as if they were meeting as a team for the first time, ended in third place, and out of the World Cup, which will be held in the United States and on the Caribbean this year.

It also meant that the Chevrons will be the only Test nation missing from the T20 World Cup.

There were seven teams in the qualifiers, which were held in a round-robin format — Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda and hosts Namibia.

Given there were two places up for grabs, it was almost guaranteed that the Chevrons would grab one of the tickets for the 20-team T20 World Cup, which will run between June 4 and 30.

In the end, not even a 110-run victory over Kenya in their final game was good enough for the Chevrons to qualify as losses to Namibia and Uganda, of all teams, meant their fate was out of their hands long before they brought the curtain down on their time in Namibia.

In June last year, the Chevrons also suffered another massive blow when they failed to make use of familiar home conditions to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

The 50-over World Cup was held in October and won by Australia who shocked the hosts in the final.

But, the Chevrons were missing in action after they suffered a heartbreak, in their final game of the Super Six stage, when they lost to Scotland in Bulawayo.

In the end, it was Sri Lanka and the Netherlands who qualified.

One of the arguments, which were being put forward by analysts was that many members of the Chevrons were past their prime but they were, somehow, still holding on to their places in the team.

There was an urgent need, the same analysts said, for new blood to be fused into the team.

The cricket leadership decided to field some emerging players, who are under the age of 25, in the team which represented Zimbabwe at the African Games.

The team, which was coached by Elton Chigumbura, were the best at the continental showcase and thrashed Namibia in the final on Saturday to win the gold medal.

It meant that Zimbabwe enjoyed a clean sweep at the Games as the Lady Chevrons also won gold.

“A golden era could be beckoning for Zimbabwe after the country dominated the women’s and men’s cricket categories at the African Games in Accra,” Zimbabwe Cricket said in a statement. 

The performance of many of the emerging players certainly gives us hope and, after the doom and gloom of the past year, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *