FOR once Zimbabwe this week is making headlines across the world for a good reason after the cricket national team’s sensational victory against then number one ranked one-day international (ODI) playing nation, Australia.
Sunday’s victory that ended a 31-year chase came at an unlikely time following turmoil in the Zimbabwe camp attributed to recent changes to the technical department that saw Steve Mangongo becoming the first black coach of the national team.
Zimbabwe Cricket also recently took the seemingly unpopular decision to split the captaincy with Elton Chigumbura stepping in to lead the ODI side while Brendan Taylor remained the Test captain.
Critics felt the splitting of the captaincy was not justified because Zimbabwe played fewer international matches because of the country’s isolation from the international community and the general problems bedevilling the country.
Selectors also came under fire for chopping and changing the team after Taylor was at one time dropped for alleged under par performance.
Against such chaos no-one had given Zimbabwe a chance against Australia especially after morale-sapping losses against lowly Afghanistan during a home series a few weeks back.
The general belief was that cricket was on a decline in Zimbabwe as experienced players deserted the national team and the administration side was lurching from one crisis to another.
However, after Sunday’s historic win all those troubles were temporarily forgotten.
There is no doubt that Elton Chigumbura’s team deserves all the accolades, but more work lies ahead.
Zimbabwe’s cricket is without doubt nowhere near what it is supposed to be and the only way to return it to its glory days is for the national team to become world beaters again.
The World Cup to be hosted by Australia is just a few months away and Zimbabwe could do well to consistently grind such results to be in good stead to cause a few upsets at the tournament.
Zimbabweans should also not make the mistake to believe the victory against Australia means the disappearance of problems facing the game.
There is still need for a serious introspection and audit of the game if we are to restore pride in Zimbabwe cricket.