INDEPENDENT SPORTS VIEW – With Itai Dzamara
IT was overwhelming to observe the responses to our coverage of cricket issues last week. Media outlets from many countries ran our artic
le on the interview with Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) board member Ozias Bvute and my exploration of the cricket row in this column.
But more interestingly, various spins and interpretations were given to our “special project”. The most attractive was that the ZCU had embarked on a “charm offensive”, which therefore included visits to this paper and the subsequent interviews. Bvute had “finally broken his silence and talked about his role in the ongoing row”, some said.
Another one, slightly over the top if you want, had ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka’s picture taken when he was smiling broadly. “Merely smiling and giving your side of the story is not enough,” the caption read.
Many e-mails were sent by readers responding to our articles as well as generally commenting on the cricket row. Some requested my opinion regarding the way forward following the failure of the probe into racism allegations.
I think last week’s standoff will forever be regrettable because all that it served to do was pile more pressure on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to act tough on Zimbabwe. What with the continuous defeats suffered by our current team, on whose performance our resumption of Test matches hinge largely.
Only time will tell. But it needs to be emphasised to the ZCU and the rebel players that their selfish actions could forever be regrettable!
Below are some of the responses and contributions from readers:
* Why is it that whenever there is a problem those involved resort to “racism” as an excuse for making things worse and not resolving issues properly?
“White” commercial farmers and land reform, Zimbabwe rugby almost destroyed, and now cricket. I am sure there was some resistance (whether or not it was “fierce” I am less convinced) to accelerate inclusion of new players in a comfort zone . . . these are professional players whose remuneration depends on playing and winning.
It’s a competitive business representing your country in international sport. It’s not an arena to learn your trade until you are well ready to start getting experience in the company of those much further up the learning curve. Integration of new and old, talent and experience starts much earlier – school, club, province – before the ultimate glamour and reward of diligence, patience and practice culminate in national honour. The petulant behaviour of officialdom in response to criticism would tend to indicate that perhaps there are some guilty consciences around (the whole board became FURIOUS, …did they).
Those in positions of authority who cannot handle criticism with the maturity and wisdom required to justify their positions, instead resort to revenge and vague mutterings of third forces, hidden agendas, outside agencies etc, etc.
They are earning themselves large chunks of contempt from those who only want our sportsmen and women to shine on our behalf – we have precious little else to cheer about at the moment. Hopefully, (I really am naïve!) maturity and common sense will quickly prevail upon all participants and humble pie will be shared (and washed down with the glass that cheers, as gentlemen do).
The real heroes, the youngsters who have tried so hard and commendably to keep the flag flying with some decorum, will be given their chance to blend into a team made stronger by those with experience and proven skills. Enthusiasm and talent are delightful attributes, which need nurturing carefully and properly. Perhaps we will never get to know the whole story from both sides but who cares.
Please can we have our cricket back in time to give England a fright.
Good column, keep it up.
* I agree with you that something does not sound right with ZCU, and whatever the perceived third force might be, why are they not bringing it out?
Surprisingly, these youngsters are always praised despite recording a streak of defeats. As a country this is a pathetic situation because it’s not like we don’t have talent around, but the talented ones are being denied the opportunity to represent Zimbabwe.
*Indeed, there are some skeletons in some cupboards belonging to some people! Whether it is the ZCU or the rebels only, or both, is no longer necessary at this stage. What is clear is that some arrogant and selfish people have connived to kill the game of cricket in Zimbabwe.
Oh, what a sad chapter – hard on the heels of this Robert Mugabe’s spirited effort in destroying the country’s agriculture.
It’s politics, stupid!
Well done for digging the truth and objectively present it. It’s clear you will not be deterred in your coverage of any issues. Keep it up.
*Firstly, I blame you and your colleagues in the media for failing all along to investigate and establish this scam of handling matters by the ZCU as narrated in your column last week.
It is not shocking really, taking into consideration the many incidents of racism within our cricket over the last couple of years. The ICC must get to the bottom of these matters and punish all the culprits. I believe there are culprits on both sides and the skeletons in their cupboards will be exposed.
I don’t care whether its Chingoka or Heath Streak, the culprit must be heavily punished. Even if it means both!
*The only thing that a man can do to preserve honour after his efforts to impose his silly policies would have failed is to quit. I know there is a culture in Zimbabwe of not doing that. Do I hear someone shout the name RG?
I think the way forward for Zimbabwe’s cricket is for these men, whose efforts have failed – may they be calling themselves rebels or administrators – to quit so that there could be an opportunity for those with the sport at heart to try and rescucitate it.