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Zimbabwe Cricket Union




Issue 15, March 10 2000

By John Ward

Our apologies for a shorter issue of our online magazine this week, but Zimbabwe's self-inflicted fuel crisis has made it impossible for me to get around and interview players, although some interviews were possible at the Logan Cup match in Harare last weekend. Probably, too, next week's issue will be even shorter until the situation eases, whenever that may be.

We are painfully aware that our magazine is not able to touch certain areas of cricket in Zimbabwe, for various reasons. First of all, we cannot carry any extra information about the national side's tour of the West Indies as we have nobody there to send us back any reports; we regret that readers keen to learn about that tour will have to look elsewhere in CricInfo. Similarly we do not even have a report on the Logan Cup match played in Kwekwe last weekend, which resulted in an innings victory for Manicaland over Midlands, as nothing has yet come in from our correspondents in either province.

On the positive side, we do have some very informative school cricket reports from Peterhouse (Marondera) and Victoria High (Masvingo), and thank the cricket masters there who took the trouble to send us the necessary information.


The Player's View - Gavin Rennie on the Logan Cup and more

The most notable individual performance of the Logan Cup match between the CFX Academy and Mashonaland was a career-best innings of 152 by Gavin Rennie of Mashonaland, who was controversially omitted from the national side to tour the West Indies. Here he talks to John Ward after the match.

"I've really got to score a lot of runs, and from my point of view fifties aren't going to count. I need to score hundreds. The Logan Cup in the next three or four weeks is going to give me an opportunity to get big runs. So that's my first objective. And then I'll be playing in the ICC tournament in April, which will be a series of one-day games against better opposition this time. I need to make my mark and get big runs so I can be outstanding among the batsmen."
[More | Logan Cup]

Paul Strang: Heading for Fitness

Leg-spinning all-rounder Paul Strang, who first came to the cricketing world's attention during the World Cup of 1995/96, has had a tough time of it during the past two years, as loss of form and injury have resulted in frequent absences from international cricket. Still not fit enough to tour the West Indies with the national side, he was drafted in to captain the CFX Academy team in the Logan Cup. He scored a pugnacious 72, but strained a knee in doing so, which prevented him from bowling. Before the match he spoke to John Ward about his frustrating season. "I've told the selectors I'm available to play one-day cricket; I think Test cricket is too much of a jump. I've told them I don't want to be rushed to come back. I think that's a danger after an injury because you do feel a bit of pressure and you're quite keen to get back in as well because you've had such a long break. So I've made myself available for one-day cricket, and I've said to them I'd just like to play some cricket and get some confidence back. I just need to satisfy myself that the arm is up to match play and I'm slowly building up. I hope to bowl ten to fifteen overs in a game and just go as I feel and not overdo it. If I made myself available for Test cricket I might have to bowl twenty overs in a day and I think that's unreasonable."


Meet the Academy players part 4: Colin Delport

Colin is one of the few, but hopefully increasing, cricketers in recent years to emerge from the Midlands of Zimbabwe, having lived in Kadoma or Chegutu all his life.

His father played for the Rhodesian (as it then was) Schools team in the South African Nuffield Schools Weeks of 1969 and 1970. His father is South African and his mother Scottish. His father used to live in Banket, on the road between Harare and Chinhoyi (then Sinoia) and attended Sinoia High School, before moving south to Chegutu (then Hartley) to open a chicken farm, which remains the family business. He has a younger brother who lives in Kariba and played Under-19 cricket in 1998, but who no longer plays regularly for business reasons and lack of opportunity.

Meet the Academy players part 5: Jason Young

Jason Young is an all-rounder who is in his second year at the CFX Academy in Harare. Although generally regarded more as a bowler who can bat, it was with the bat that he impressed most on his first-class debut recently in the Logan Cup for the Academy against the strong Mashonaland team. He was the only batsman to exceed even 20 in both innings, with scores of 47 and 34. Both were innings of great determination, the first after a middle-order collapse and the second with his team fighting to secure a draw.

Unusually for a white cricketer in Zimbabwe, who enjoyed until independence in 1980 a cricket culture to the exclusion of the blacks, Jason does not come from a cricketing family, his father having been a soccer player. The only cricket he remembers playing at home was at the age of about ten, when an uncle and his cousins came round to visit on Sunday afternoons and they would enjoy a family knock-around then.

Tatenda Taibu

It caused a major surprise when the young 16-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman Tatenda Taibu was named among the Zimbabwe players to join the national side in the West Indies for the one-day triangular tournament which also included Pakistan in March and April 2000. However, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union were planning for the future, and the intention was not that Tatenda should actually play in any major matches but that he should be there for the experience.

Most of Zimbabwe's young black players have grown up with no family background in cricket, and Tatenda was no exception. Most of the early ones to break through have been fast bowlers, as this is perhaps the 'easiest' skill to learn for those physically capable of doing so who have not enjoyed the benefits of growing up in a cricket culture. When Tatenda broke through into the national Under-19 team, though, it was seen that here was a highly talented young player who was both a batsman and also a wicket-keeper, the latter a particularly rare commodity in Zimbabwean cricket at present.


Zimbabwe made a fine start to the West Indies tour, outplaying a Board XI in a drawn match in Grenada. It will be reassuring for followers of the team to see Alistair Campbell in the runs with an unbeaten century. The team has one more match before the first Test, and coach David Houghton will be giving all members of the touring party a chance to experience local conditions.

Neil Johnson will represent Zimbabwe as part of the Rest of the World team to take on as Asia XI in the April 8 match to celbrate the ICC's cricket week.

The much expanded Logan Cup is in full swing, so keep an eye on CricInfo for reports and scorecards.
[Zimbabwe in the West Indies | Logan Cup | Cricket Week]


Graham van Tonder (UK)
Thanks for another excellent online issue. Just a short note of encouragement to the team as they face up to the West Indians - do Zimbabwe proud!

Jacob Mutisi (Zimbabwe)
Just as a matter of interest how come the ZCU has not approached the following guys to play for Zimbabwe they were all born in Zimbabwe Dale Benkenstein, Gary Gilder and Keith Storey. I believe this will help us to improve our game.

Reply: I am told that somebody did talk informally to Dale Benkenstein, but he preferred to stay in South Africa. About the others I don't know, but Gary Gilder has represented South Africa A, and since Neil Johnson first played for South Africa A new regulations have come in making it more difficult for players to switch countries after that.

Alan Makoni (USA)
Thank you very much for your article on Douglas Hondo. I went to school with him at Churchill and we were good buddies. I'm in the United States, Dallas, Texas in particular, and it helps to know that talented black cricketers can share the nets spotlight with known stars. I'm an avid cricket supporter and this column helps me keep in track with Zim cricket ... I wish they played cricket here, it's only reserved for the English blazer schools in the east. Anyway, thank you for your article and hope to see more; e.g., Alester Maregwede, David Mutendera, the short guy Taibu, Daniel Hondo, Everton and Darlington Matambanadzo and the rest.

Reply: Thanks very much. Tatenda Taibu is featured this week, and most of the others have all been featured in the past and you should find them on the page for players' biographies. Alester Maregwede will be interviewed as soon as the fuel crisis permits me to meet with him, and Daniel Hondo's turn will no doubt come.

Wes King (Australia) G'day mate. My name is Wes King and I am an Australian. Just thought I'd write and tell you that its great to see Zim do good in international cricket. Having visited Zimbabwe in 1997, and having played junior cricket with Murray Goodwin in Bunbury, Western Australia, I take a close interest in the results concerning your side. All the best, and keep up the great job.
[Contact us]


Peterhouse School: report
by cricket master Paul Davis

"We are still playing cricket in the first term, and practices and matches were again greatly affected by the weather. However the first team still managed to play five games - a lot more than some of our junior B sides. Cricket did take on an extra dimension at Peterhouse this year with the introduction of the school's own Squads of Excellence on a Friday afternoon which involved the top three or four cricketers from each age group. This was a great success and I would like to thank Terry Coughlan for his time and commitment in this regard - I believe this will benefit our top cricketers greatly. I would also like to thank Pete Robinson and Fiona Butchart from the ZCU who ran a very worthwhile umpiring and scoring course for staff and boys."

Victoria High School: report
by J Shumbaimwe (teacher i/c cricket)

"Victoria High School 1st team is doing very well looking at the games they have won. It will be at the team's advantage and will benefit the country at large if Victoria could play against competitive schools such as Churchill, Prince Edward School, etc. I strongly believe that given the chance Victoria can beat some of the good schools such as the ones mentioned above. Some of these players like Blessing Mahwire, Robertson Chinyengetere, Hillary Matanga and Jemton Chinyengetere have great talent which needs to be exploited for the benefit of the cricket in our country."

Picture of the Week


Neil Johnson, Zimbabwe's representative on the Rest of the World team
Photo copyright AFP

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