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Zimbabwe Emerging, cricket’s next big hits – Chronicle

Brandon Moyo, [email protected]

THE past year was not the best of them all for cricket in Zimbabwe, with the senior men’s national cricket team misfiring from all fronts to a point where they found themselves at the mercy of “minnows” in the continent.

However, the recently ended 2024 African Games in the Ghanaian capital of Accra provided Zimbabwe with the platform to once again assert their dominance as an African cricket powerhouse.

The Chevrons may be the only Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) missing out on the upcoming T20I World Cup,  with Uganda and Namibia going through, but at the African Games, the youthful team managed to flex its muscles.

At the Games, Zimbabwe Emerging played five matches and convincingly won all of them, something which their technical advisor and renowned cricket development coach Steve Mangongo was impressed with.

For the former Chevrons gaffer, the team’s performance at the African Games is the kind of thing and standard that is expected from a nation with such a rich cricketing history. Apart from their brilliant showing in the field of play, Mangongo was also impressed by their off-field behaviour.

“It was top drawer. These are the standards expected of a Test nation like Zimbabwe. Minnows, we are expected to crush and these boys did exactly so. I salute these fine young future national team players for the work they have done in the past nine weeks. The discipline off the field has been exemplary,” said Mangongo.

Mangongo is the head coach of Zimbabwe Cricket’s (ZC) developmental high-performance programme, which features the country’s upcoming talent under the age of 25 and believes that the signs for the country’s next big players are already there. The hard work they have been putting on is paying off.

“We at High Performance have fostered a culture of hard work and the signs are looking good for the long-term objective of creating a foundation for solid players of international quality,” he said.

On their road to African glory, Zimbabwe beat Namibia by 35 runs in their opening game of the tournament before going on to register a four-wicket win over Tanzania in their second group encounter. Their last group game was against Nigeria and they flexed their muscles with a crushing 10-wicket win.

In the semi-finals, Zimbabwe faced a Kenyan team that had the likes of Collins Obuya, Shem Ngoche, Nelson Odhiambo and Rakep Patel.

The quartet brought in a wealth of experience for Kenya, having played in the 2011 World Cup with Obuya also playing in the 2003 edition.
Zimbabwe managed to hold their nerves and register a 70-run win.

In the final, it was a re-match of the opening game between Zimbabwe and Namibia and the Chevrons, once again were at their best to register a commanding eight-wicket win and bring home the gold medal.

In the final, Zimbabwe were asked to bowl first and went on to restrict Namibia to just 113/7 in their 20 overs. They chased down the target in 14, 5 overs, finishing on 114/2 having lost only the wickets of Rodney Mupfudza (24 runs off 25 balls) and Tadiwanashe Marumani (58 runs off 40 deliveries).

The duo notched up a 55-run stand for the first wicket partnership.

Zimbabwe’s performance in the final put a smile on Mangongo’s face.

“The bowling was disciplined all round and Namibia was simply strangled. On the batting front, our boys exhibited composure, good temperament and most importantly, technical competency. Great foundation by Rodney Mupfudza and Tadiwa Marumani,” said Mangongo.

Former national team all-rounder and captain, Elton Chigumbura was the head coach while Njabulo Ncube was the bowling coach. Tarisayi Sembezeya and Travor Vambe were manager and physiotherapist respectively.

Following their triumph at the African Games, ZC rewarded the team with US$80 000 that will be shared among the team members, including the coaching and support staff. The Lady Chevrons also received a similar amount after they won gold as well.

“Winning has never felt so good and I wish to personally congratulate our emerging men’s team on conquering all their opponents at the African Games in Accra, to make it a golden double for us after our women’s team also scooped gold.

“Just like the ladies did, you competed extraordinarily well and in doing so, you have proved that as a country we have what it takes to be among cricket’s elite,” said ZC chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani.

Most of Zimbabwe Emerging players were Under-25s. – @brandon_malvin

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Zimbabwe cricketer receives death threats –

Zimbabwe batsman Sean Williams and girlfriend, Chantelle Dexter, have received death threats, according to a report in the Daily News.

Zimbabwe batsman Sean Williams and girlfriend, Chantelle Dexter, have received death threats, according to a report in the Daily News.

Williams recently signed a new national contract after missing the two-Test series against Pakistan in Harare, which ended in a one-all draw, and pleaded for help from followers of a Facebook forum, Zim Cricket Talks.

“Hi, everyone. If anybody knows a person that goes by the name of Alberto Rodriguez please let me know as he has been sending rape and death threats to my girlfriend and myself. Your help will be greatly appreciated if you know him or his whereabouts,” wrote Williams.

Seamer Tendai Chatara, meanwhile, is likely to be awarded a contract soon. Chatara was instrumental in the hosts’ campaign against the Pakistanis last month, clinching 11 wickets.

“That contract is a reward to players who are excelling at the top level and that has been explained to the players. We cannot work on a minimum number; we look at performances and select players on merit,” concluded convener of selectors Givemore Makoni.

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Zimbabwe Cricket: There’s no wage protest –

Zimbabwe Cricket has denied reports that players are protesting a lack of wages and contracts, saying it’s more a discussion about a few questions, and that calling it a protest is making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’.

Cricinfo have reported that several Zimbabwe players are refusing to train in Harare, demanding to know why some players have not been paid since July last year, and there has also been no news on their contract extensions.

The players, via a source to the website, also said that ZC refused to pay for players outside Harare to travel to training there, and that equipment and balls were lacking at training.

But ZC have denied this, saying they are well on top of things, and that contracts will be issued shortly. They also insist the money to pay domestic players has been sent to the teams in batches, and the final amounts will be paid soon.

ZC spokesperson Darlington Majonga said on Cricinfo: “The players have asked ZC for an update on new contracts and their delayed match fees.

“But to equate their honest request for an engagement on the important issues to an ultimatum of some sort would be kind of making a mountain out of a molehill.

“What is important is that their contracts are ready following an all-inclusive negotiation process that involved representatives of the players.

“On the other issue, ZC has been paying the match fees in tranches and will settle the outstanding amounts soon.”

Earlier, the player interviewed had said: “We are just fed up at the moment. It is crisis after crisis over here,” and that the players were demanding to speak with ZC boss Wilfred Mukondiwa.

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Zimbabwe Cricket advertise head coach post –

Zimbabwe cricket have retained Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd to recruit a new national team head coach.

The board have indicated that the aim of the new coach will be to reach 8th in the ICC rankings for both ODI and T20Is.

In a release issued to the media Zimbabwe Cricket stated the overall jog purpose as: “To present a coaching plan which shows strategies to achieve qualification in the ICC World T20 and for the national team to be competitive in all formats of the game and ensure the highest level of performance is achieved & maintained.

“Attain a position of at least 8 in both the ICC Rankings for the ODI and the T20i versions of the game.”

Zimbabwe Cricket cleared out the backroom staff after former head coach Heath Streak failed to guide the team to the 2019 World Cup.

When Streak was appointed in 2016 Zimbabwe Cricket received few alternative applications for the position with interest limited to former Proteas batsman Peter Kirsten, former Zimbabwe allrounder Andy Blignaut and Justin Summons who is a University coach who has done remedial work with Prosper Utseya and Brian Vitori.

Zimbabwe are currently ranked 11th in ODI cricket and 12th in T20Is behind the highest ranked Associate outfit Scotland.

The national team’s next assignment is, an as yet unconfirmed Triangular T20I series involving Pakistan and Australia at the Harare Sports Club in July.

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