Friday, June 27, 2008

No More Cricket For Zimbabwe : Its DEAD!

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Zimbabwe_cricketZimbabwe cricket is dead. The rites have yet to be read, but cricket in the country north of us has reached the end of the road.

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union was given 7-million dollars (R55-million) after the last World Cup, but the Mugabe-aligned body squandered it. There is no record of where the money went and South Africa’s cricket authorities, along with those of India, have blocked attempts to force accountability.

None of it went to the players, or to the infrastructure required to support the players. Players who once paraded the world stages are reduced to pawning cell-phones on street corners and hustling for spare cash to get by. When Cricket SA president Norman Arendse suspended relations, it was the least he could do.

What has the world lost? A spectacular amount, if you consider achievements over the past four decades:

Colin Bland, Jackie du Preez, Peter Carlstein, Brian Davison, Paddy Clift and Duncan Fletcher. All were part of the lost generation, and all were worthy of the highest honours. Fletcher went on to be the most successful England coach of all time, Davison a member of the Tasmanian legislature.

Peter Rawson, Kevin Curran, Rob Bentley, Andy Pycroft, Dave Houghton, Eddo Brandes. The core of this generation were responsible for toppling Australia in the 1983 World Cup. Rawson, in particular, built a reputation as the most miserly bowler in the world.

The second-last generation: Heath Streak, Neil Johnson, Murray Goodwin, Grant and Andy Flower. It was this generation of players who effectively put South Africa out of the 1999 World Cup.

The current generation: Performing against all odds, young men such as Prosper Utseya, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Tatenda Taibu have somehow kept Zimbabwe cricket afloat. The core of this team beat Australia in the inaugural T20 World Cup .

Finally, club cricket, district cricket and schools cricket have all but come to a halt .

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