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Zimbabwe’s losing streak entrenched

Enock Muchinjo

ZIMBABWE sides continue to be on the losing end in their various assignments.

The touring teams continue to bear the

brunt of defeat, virtually taking over where the last teams to play at home left off. The problems on the pitch now beg precise answers before the culture of losing sets in with Zimbabwe sides.

The recent show by the national Under-19 side in the inaugural Afro-Asia cricket tournament in Vishakhapatnam, India, has all but put Zimbabwe under pressure to regain respectability next time a team from here embarks on another international commitment.

The Under-19 performance follows that of the Zimbabwe A and Under-23 sides. Both found the going tough and came unstuck in foreign assignments recently: the A side in India’s Duleep Trophy tournament and the Under-23s in the first round of the South African Provincial Cup.

The under-performance by the Zimbabwe sides should, to some extent, be blamed on the deteriorating levels of domestic cricket in the country.

Zimbabwe’s domestic cricket is currently at its lowest ebb. There is need to galvanise the domestic set-up so that week in week out players face each strength versus strength, or as close to that ideal as possible.

Quantity is one thing. Quality is another altogether. Mix the two and match them and the result will just be what the doctor ordered.

Good domestic competition is the lifeline of any serious sporting discipline, and cricket is no exception. It is not good enough to have young players bubbling with potential and enthusiasm playing only against their peers. The youngsters at the club need the guidance of older and experienced players in their sides, and playing against them.

The domestic leagues should therefore be as competitive as possible so that they can form an adequate base for the selectors to choose competitive Zimbabwe sides.

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