Zimbabwe Cricket comes through


DAGGERS had been drawn and everywhere you turned people proclaimed the end for Zimbabwe Cricket under the current administration.

A certain gentleman even visited my office claiming to have friends in high places that had shown him offshore accounts of the top brass at ZC.

He added that the ICC was on to them and the gig was finally up. Really, what has transpired since has once again left the prophets of doom with egg on their faces and the much publicised forensic audit again failed to find any wrong doing.

ZC eventually got the loan from ICC and the majority of players and staff got their dues, save for minor technical glitches. A lot of people were visibly disappointed that the Peter Chingoka-led administration made a plan to dig itself out of what seemed the point of no return. However, this was achieved, it has shown the world that they can face up to serious challenges and still come out fighting.

It is not the first time all this has transpired as even at the very beginning of the rebel era, a lot of accusations of misappropriation of funds were thrown around. At the time, then CEO Ozias Bvute and Chingoka were picked by the police to assist with investigations. An audit was ordered and they were both cleared of any wrong doing.

We learn from history that we don’t learn from history, nothing changed this time round and the ICC audit team acting on ‘information’ they were fed by those that would like to see the organisation collapse worked throughout the Christmas holidays with a fine comb and still came up with no lice. Now that the misappropriation stories are over, for another season it is back to the business of playing cricket for everyone involved.

The national team will have to fast track its preparations for the T-20 world cup next month, but you never know, maybe the time away from the game will be a blessing in disguise. It will take a miracle to get out of the group stage, but anything can happen, if they believe.

Skipper Brandon Taylor became the third Zimbabwean to be snapped up at the lucrative IPL, after Tatenda Taibu, and Ray Price before him. He will turn out for last season’s surprise package the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Taylor will be keen to show he belongs with the world’s elite and would want to use the World Cup to show his class. Hopefully he will lead from the front and inspire the team to at least the second round of the competition.

Provincial cricket will make a welcome return this weekend with Tuskers hosting Mountaineers in a Pro 50 match at Queens Sports Ground on Saturday. The two will do battle in a Logan Cup match from the 24th-27th at the same venue. Southern Rocks host Eagles in Masvingo on the same dates.

Alistair Cook must have sat in his lounge and breathed a huge sigh of quiet contentment as he saw Mitchell Johnson blow South Africa away. After all the Ashes debacle and the way his team failed to handle Johnson’s aggression it must have been good to see him dish it out to someone else.

It was quite embarrassing at times to see the world’s best team jumping for dear life in its own back yard. I think now the question can be answered. “Is England afraid of Johnson?” Yes they are, but so are South Africa and maybe every batsman in the world with the exception of AB Devilliers. I was quite shaken in the comfort of my sofa when I saw the supper slow motion of Hashim Amla getting pinned on the visor first ball up. I wonder what that did to the mindset of the rest of the batsman. Johnson ended up with 12 wickets and Australia is one up in the series. Never thought I’d see the day South Africa is bounced out in a match.

Something tells me there won’t be a blade of grass on pitch at St Georges Park for the second test.

The under 19 side came back to earth in Dubai when they were humiliated by the West Indies. Zimbabwe was never in the match and struggled to handle the pace of the Windies. Set a daunting 275 for victory, Zimbabwe fell 167 runs short with only 3 players getting into double figures.

The Zimbabwean score card 3,0,8,10,0,9,2,45,9,14,0,8. Unless the opposition has Mitchell Johnson in their side there really is no excuse. Maybe Zimbabwe can lift their game and remember the warm up victory against Australia.

The Petra T-20 was won by, surprise, not a Harare school. Kyle College from Masvingo was this edition’s champions beating Churchill High School in the final. Bulawayo teams were again not in the reckoning with none of them managing to get out of the group stages.

This week’s letter is ‘J’. Jaffa, an unplayable delivery usually from a quick bowler.