As the triangular series T20 series came to an end with Pakistan claiming a very important win over Australia, one would wonder if the future of the Chevrons is bright. One would ask a barrage of questions on what really went wrong with the Chevrons.
Is it the new generation of cricketers or the poor management of the Zimbabwe Cricket Council? It is a question whose answer is a case of sour grapes? The Zimbabwe Cricket might be the chief perpetrator of the losses that the Chevrons have incurred in the past decade.
Sports management woes in Zimbabwe were manifest in the disastrous rugby Sables’ trip to Tunisia which divulged the ugly situation in the country’s sports sector. It seems the failure of the ZC to finance the talented Chevrons have influenced their negative run as regards to the ongoing tri-angular series.
However, the ICC gave Zimbabwe Cricket a lifeline with a brand new package meant to alleviate the player grievances over outstanding match fees, salaries and allowances.
It boggles the mind why the Zim Chevrons did not perform excellently in the T20 Tri-Series. But then again, there were some important positives to pick up from the T20 Tri-series which Zimbabwe hosted.
So close were the boys but did the ZCC let them down by not paying them their dues? A factor which sidelined the likes of Raza, Ervine and Taylor whose presence in that match would have been greatly coveted as their loss to the Aussies was highly an experience issue.
However, the boys who walked into that tri-series must be lauded for their valiant efforts to represent their country despite the financial difficulties.
For a staunch Zimbabwe cricket fan, the triangular series would have been a healing tournament after a devastating last-minute home pitch loss to the UAE which saw the Chevrons losing grip to the golden ticket to the 2019 ICC World Cup. On the other hand, the Aussies have proven to be a grandmaster in the series, defeating the Twenty20 top ranked Pakistan in the series with the aid of Finch who did justice on the bat.
With the likes of Tarisai Musakanda, Donald Tiripano, Magarira, among a host of other new lads who play in the local league, will Zimbabwean cricket be revived? In light of this twist of fortunes which may see a decline in the Zimbabwean cricket terraces for future international matches, one would reminisce the era of Tatenda Taibu where the national team fared very well competing with the greats of those years such as Bangladesh and the visiting Pakistan.
However, with the coming in of former Indian legend Rajput as the Interim coach who contributed in moulding Afghanistan into a new household name in the cricket circles, we might be heading towards brighter days.
For a Zimbabwean cricket lover, the prime question remains, will the Chevrons revive their situation and claim their seat among the cricket powerheights or at least get back into the top 10?
Tarisai Musakanda, Solomon Mire have been some of the players showing great zeal. The captaincy of Hamilton Masakadza is still enshrouded in some doubts.
As Zimbabwe prepares to face Pakistan in the ODI series, one hopes that the few positive elements picked from the T20 Tri-Series will translate into some high competitive matches, and hopefully, some victories to relish.
Written by Munashe Gutu.