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Zimbabwe Cricket Union




Issue 13, February 25 2000

By John Ward

Zimbabwean hospitality is second to none in the cricketing world. First we provide the Australians and South Africans with the pitches their bowlers have been longing for; then we provide the English with large doses of typical English weather!

Most of the brief England tour was played in overcast and often damp conditions before the final match was abandoned. Still, we must be grateful they were played at all; had the English come a year ago, the rains then were so intense that quite possibly the whole series would have been virtually wiped out, as was much of the England A tour.


Andy Flower on the triangular tournament in South Africa

Andy Flower talks to John Ward about the recent Zimbabwe trip to South Africa for the triangular tournament also involving England.

The roller-coaster ride of the Zimbabwe cricket team continued on the recent tour to South Africa, with its usual share of disappointments but also with some very creditable achievements. Best of all was the victory over South Africa in the opposition's back yard, in Durban, but even that was only marginally better than the victory over England in Cape Town, when Henry Olonga took six wickets for only 19 runs.

On the other hand, there were some rather pitiful batting collapses which led to unnecessarily embarrassing defeats, and it was quite impossible to predict how the team would play on any particular day. In the end, Zimbabwe missed the final only on run-rate to England, a highly frustrating state of affairs since the 'semi-final' was destroyed by rain. So what does captain Andy Flower make of all that?

The Player's View: Gary Brent on Zimbabwe v England, Second One-Day International

Despite another feeble batting performance, Zimbabwe fought back with great determination in the second one-day international against England at Queens Sports Club, and were beaten by only one wicket, thanks to a fortuitous edge by Alan Mullally off Gary Brent. Gary had another encouraging match for Zimbabwe, playing a valuable innings, taking vital wickets and being entrusted with bowling at the death. He talks to John Ward about that match.

"I've been in a batting situation where we needed so many runs off so many balls, and that was such an adrenaline thing, but this was the first time I'd been bowling right at the end where we can win and we had one wicket to get. Then I bowled a short ball, wide on the leg side, to Darren Gough, a terrible ball, and it went for four, then I bowled a wide as well. I think nerves got the better of me there, because at the end of my mark my legs were shaking; that's the first time it happened to me, so hopefully I'll learn from that and next time I'll be a bit stronger."

The Player's View: Stuart Carlisle on the Third One-Day International

Despite his brilliant century against Sri Lanka, Stuart Carlisle has again had his critics, especially when he scored few runs batting well down the order in South Africa. However, once he was restored to his spot near the top of the batting order, he got among the runs again, making the top Zimbabwean score in both the second and the third one-day internationals against England. Here he talks to John Ward about his recent career and about the third one-day international, played at Harare Sports Club on Sunday 19 February.

"Andy Flower called the run - I don't think he was paying me back for last time, because I think I ran him out in South Africa! He just misjudged it, I suppose; he hit it just to the side of Nick Knight, who picked it up and threw direct, and I was out. But these things happen, and that's one of the things we've got to work on again. We keep getting run-outs, so that's another problem with our side."

Back At The Top: Heath Streak

Heath Streak has returned to his rightful place as the bulwark of Zimbabwe's bowling attack after missing four Tests and five one-day matches due to a recurrence of his knee injury - and how Zimbabwe missed him! Here he talks to John Ward about his return to the Zimbabwean team, and especially about his part in Zimbabwe's historic victory over South Africa at Durban.

"I don't think we do have an off season! It's one of those seasons which just seems to go into the following season, so it'll be interesting to see what actually happens in terms of fixtures. But it's a brilliant season for us: our first trip to the West Indies and we're all looking forward to that, a Test series in England, playing at Lord's and grounds like that. Then the World Series in Australia, which some of us have already experienced, and all the more incentive to stay fit, stay in the side and be part of a winning side."


Carl Rackemann has accepted a request from the Zimbabwe Cricket Union to go on the West Indian tour with the national side as bowling coach.

The England visit ended with a dose of English weather, as heavy rain quashed Zimbabwean hopes of a consolation victory in the final one day match.

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Youth cricket development in Zimbabwe - a personal view
By Andrew Hall

The English cricket lover can get a little battle-weary, cynical even. Supporting a team which so often flatters to deceive is just one part of the English cricket experience. Commentators harking back to a mythical bygone golden age, cricket clubs battling for survival with dwindling playing memberships who prioritise golf, kids, or just ration their valuable free time in an era of extreme time poverty. And constant negative sniping from those who can't or won't open their minds to this beautiful game.

And then something happens that reminds you why you chose cricket in the first place - a moment when cricket reminds you quietly of its power, and why it chose you. It happened to me at a proud and confident primary school in Harare, Zimbabwe.


St John's College report from Peter Whalley

Unfortunately all the games were cancelled late on Thursday afternoon as heavy rain in both Harare and Esigodini meant that pitch preparation could not take place, and it was also necessary to give 24 hours' notice to railways for cancellation purposes.

This was especially disappointing to the two first elevens as both St. Johns and Falcon are going to Pretoria to take part in the South African Independent Schools Cricket Festival hosted by St. Albans College from 24th to 27th February. The two sides were hoping to use this match as a warm-up before this tournament in which 16 sides are taking part, including strong cricketing schools such as Bishops (Cape Town), St. Andrews (Grahamstown and Bloemfontein), St. Stithians and St. Johns (Johannesburg), Kingswood (Grahamstown) and Hilton (Natal).

Otherwise this is the end of the School's cricket season, once again the weather playing havoc with the fixture list.


National League semi-finals
Clive Ruffell

Alex hosted Harare Sports in the first national league semi-final. Batting first on a wicket that offered some assistance to the bowlers, HSC got off to a good start but were pulled back by good bowling from Andy Blignaut. Alex started their reply in disastrous fashion, losing both openers with only 10 runs on the board. Rennie and Blignaut shored up the middle order, and it was left to Blignaut and Jason Vaughn-Davies to see Alex through to a comfortable six wicket win with 10 overs to spare.

In a much anticipated clash, Universals travelled to OH to contest the other semi-final of the national league. OH have been unbeaten in the league this year, but both teams boasted impressive teams with national players available for the match. Old Hararians ran out the winners, and will be now clear favourites to win the league when they take on Alexandra in the final on 27th February.
[Alexandra v Harare Sports Club - scorecard and report | Old Hararians vs Universals - scorecard and report]


Greg Lamb

Greg Lamb, voted the Most Promising Young Cricketer of the Year in 1999, is one of Zimbabwe's most dedicated young players and is currently in his second year at the CFX Academy in Harare.

His progress is all the more remarkable as he has no home background in cricket at all. His father played rugby and his mother tennis, and neither had any real interest in cricket. He first became involved in cricket from the age of about eight, when he was attending Rydings School nearby. He owes much, though, to former Zimbabwean player Robin Brown, whose son he befriended at the age of about eight. They lived on adjoining farms in the Karoi area in the north of the country, and Greg often used to go over to the Browns' farm and play with his son, cricket playing a major part in their activities.


England in Zimbabwe - complete averages and more.

Picture of the Week


Mark Alleyne in trouble against some fine bowling
during his coaching stint

Archive of past issues

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