BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWE cricket team fast bowler Kyle Jarvis has expressed his desire to give back to the sport which gave him both fame and fortune albeit in a different capacity following his decision to retire from all forms of cricket at the age of 32 yesterday.
Jarvis made the difficult decision to prematurely end his international career after losing a recent battle with a serious lower back injury and other health problems.
He joins the growing long list of Zimbabwean cricket players who ended their careers at a stage when they could have been at the peak of their athletic prowess.
However, unlike most of his retired colleagues who were lost to the domestic game soon after their retirement, Jarvis, the son of former Zimbabwe international, Malcolm, plans to get involved in the game in another capacity in the near future.
His immediate focus is, however, on venturing into business.
“I have a business which is fairly new which needs my full attention for now, but I look forward to working with Zimbabwe Cricket in some capacity going forward,” Jarvis said during a virtual press conference on Thursday. “I certainly want to give back to the game which gave me so much.”
Jarvis enjoyed a successful professional cricket career spanning almost 12 years since making his international debut for Zimbabwe in 2009.
The former Chevrons star, who also had a four year stint with English County Cricket Club Lancashire played 13 Tests, 49 ODIs and 22 T20s for Zimbabwe, picking up 46, 58 and 28 wickets respectively.
He also played 84 first-class matches, taking a total of 320 wickets.
His retirement comes after a lengthy spell on the sidelines having not featured for the national side since January last year when he sustained a serious lower back injury during the Test series against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club.
After making a full recovery, his comeback bid early this year suffered a major setback when he battled a trio of illnesses — Covid-19, malaria and tick fever — which sidelined him for six months.
Jarvis admitted that it was a difficult decision for him to retire from the sport he so loves.
“It was a very difficult decision having to retire and it’s something that took me a long time to come to grips with. Nobody wants to stop doing the thing they love,” Jarvis said.
“After my back injury last year, there was a lot of uncertainty whether I would be able to bowl again. After six to eight months out, I was lucky enough to make a full recovery but I knew I had to start planning for the future.”
A product of Zimbabwe’s vibrant schools cricket scene during his time at St John’s College, Jarvis was fast tracked into the national team after impressing at the 2008 edition of the ICC Under-19 Men’s World Cup.
He made his One Day International (ODI) debut for Zimbabwe against Kenya on October 12, 2009 before making his Test bow against Bangladesh on August 4, 2011.
In August 2013, Jarvis quit international cricket to pursue a county contract with Lancashire in England.
After a successful four-year stint in England he was lured back by Zimbabwe Cricket to revive his international cricket career in September 2017.
Jarvis said he would cherish every moment he represented the country in international cricket and paid tribute to Zimbabwe Cricket and Lancashire for their unwavering support during his career.
“Every day wearing the Zimbabwe badge is a highlight and I was very fortunate to be able to represent my country over a 10-year career,” Jarvis said.
“I will miss walking out onto the field in an international with a close group of friends. A special thank you to my friends, family, Zimbabwe Cricket and Lancashire County Cricket Club for all the support over the years.”