I AM an avid cricket follower of the Zimbabwe team watching the current “rebels saga” from afar but with close interest.
I believe that the heart of this problem
lies on two main fronts – one being a ZCU leadership which has overstayed at the helm of local cricket and has now run out of constructive ideas to take cricket to the next level (new brooms sweep clean) and the other problem being differing views on the quota system and the introduction of black players into the test side.
An article “Zim cricket at the cross roads”, I wrote for a local daily paper gives a powerful insight into the mentality and approach of a good affirmative action selection process. I quote: “Although the idea of the quota system is a noble one, the best way to integrate blacks into the first team is to identify the talent at grassroots level, then nurture this talent carefully all the way to first class level”.
My point here was, and still is that the introduction of blacks is a process not an event! It is a numbers game, so the more blacks you have playing cricket at grassroots level, the more likely some of them will break into the first team. Further to this I pointed out the following; “It will be imperative to ensure there is a strong and unbiased selection process in place based on merit and discipline for this approach to work.
“The talent of black players such as Tatenda Taibu, Blessing Mawire or Hamilton Masakadza is unquestionable and what they need is exposure”.
It is preferable to have a selection committee of individuals who genuinely love cricket and have played it before at some level, not people with political agendas or a desire to make personal wealth.
It sounds like these are the same issues the rebels are trying to have addressed. Why would the ZCU not want to come to the table, all for the sake of Zimbabwe cricket because individual egos could never be bigger than the game itself. No other team may likely break the embarrassing 35-all-out score we will be remembered for and that result should have been a wake-up call for all parties to try and resolve this crisis and put Zimbabwe cricket back on the map for the right reasons.