WHOEVER advises Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is a wicked genius of sorts.
Sports Panorama with Enock Muchinjo
Narrow the argument down to the sacking of coach Heath Streak and divert attention as best as you can, the clever one has probably advised his friends at ZC.
Cry victim, wail loudly and hammer it home that you are the target of a vicious and sponsored campaign for having the guts to fire a coach who has failed his mandate to guide the team to the World Cup.
Wave the race card, there are those in positions of authority who will activate an automatic hardline stance at the slightest hint of racism, whether real or perceived.
Turn to a compromised supporters body and let them release a diluted statement, neutralising the vast majority of genuinely concerned fans who have overwhelmingly registered their displeasure over the manner the game is administered.
And oh, they go on and on about how you have wilfully destroyed domestic structures — the lifeline of Zimbabwean cricket and the foundation on which the game was built for many years — so have your head of cricket affairs address a press conference announcing the resumption of domestic cricket, even when a simple press release would have sufficed.
They also say none of the big teams wouldn’t be interested in playing Zimbabwe anymore after the World Cup catastrophe, so at the same press conference announce a big coup — that Australia and Pakistan will be touring in two months’ time.
That the tour was almost a done deal by the time the first ball of the World Cup qualification in Zimbabwe was bowled doesn’t matter.
And ZC has listened well.
In so doing, ZC has hoped to successfully erect a smokescreen to obscure the genuine issues of concern raised by the cross-section of cricket stakeholders in this country who have helplessly watched the heritage of their sport being trampled upon by an administration this game cannot endure a day longer.
So while ZC is at pains to manipulate feelings, to make the less-informed and gullible in our midst believe that this whole hullabaloo is about one man, Heath Streak, they cannot run away from the fact that the first-class cricket structure has been left to die and no longer worth of its status as Zimbabwe’s premier competition.
There are question marks over the handling of finances.
The message from knowledgeable cricket lovers in this country that ZC has been trying to supress, using the Streak issue as cover-up, is that the cricket-devoid board has no capacity to run the game.
Facilities throughout the country are in shambolic state.
Pitches are not prepared. Matches are abandoned because umpires and scorers are not being paid.
The Streak matter is just a distracting sideshow by ZC. The clarion call from all and sundry is that ZC itself must change.
The current constitution of ZC, which was re-written in 2006 to get rid of cricketers and men of outstanding integrity, needs to be amended.
Apart from a dearth of cricketing brains, there is glaring lack of board independence at ZC at the moment.
A board must have individuals that are independent, financially and intellectually, so are able give full value to the organisation and steer it forward without worrying about the next board sitting allowance.
This is precisely the message ZC has been trying to block.