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Zimbabwe Cricket Union




Issue 17, March 24 2000

By John Ward

Overshadowing all other cricket news in Zimbabwe this past week has been the sad story of how Zimbabwe threw away their golden opportunity to beat the West Indies in the first Test match ever played between the two teams. A mere 99 runs were needed to win, but the team choked on the final corner and crashed for a total of less than 100 for the first time in Test cricket.

I was not one of those who thought victory was assured; I have suffered too many past disappointments in matches where victory looked assured to take anything for granted. I knew that Ambrose and Walsh would be fired up and that it would be a very difficult task; if Andy Flower failed this time, I had very real fears for the team. Unfortunately that was just how it turned out; once again they cracked under pressure.
[More | Zimbabwe in the West Indies]


Zimbabwe's young hopefuls

Robin Mence, who lives in England, is a keen observer of Zimbabwean cricket who actively keeps himself abreast of cricket news and statistics from this country at all levels. Here he pens some of his thoughts, especially on Zimbabwe's young hopefuls. The Zimbabwe cricket selectors have on times this season been criticised for not giving younger players a chance, albeit without there being any evidence that there were promising cricketers available with a proven track record who, it could be expected, would perform better than those they would replace. So why should this be? Has Zimbabwe stopped producing young players of talent? This article, hopefully, goes some way to pinpoint the lack of a substantial first-class cricket structure during the late 1990s as being the reason for a missing 'generation' of cricketers.


Dan Peacock

Dan Peacock is a promising young cricketer who, it is hoped, may develop into what seems to be a rarity in modern cricket: a spin-bowling all-rounder. He is primarily an off-spinner, but is also a very capable batsman who has ambitions to bat in the top six.

Dan was born in Reading, Berkshire, in England, of a Zimbabwean mother and an English father who played Minor Counties cricket. At the age of two Dan and his family moved to Rhodesia, as it then was, despite the war-torn situation of the country in the late seventies, due to the difficulty his father was finding in getting suitable employment in England. Dan also has a younger brother Tom, who played cricket at school, including inter-provincial at Under-13 and Under-15 levels, but later gave it up. They played a lot of family cricket together, with friends often included, and Dan pays tribute to his father, who taught him the basics of the game when he was five years old, constructing a net, bowling to him and teaching him the basics of his bowling style.

Kingsley Went

Kingsley Went, who lives in Mutare and plays for Manicaland, is one of the 2000 students at the CFX Academy. He is a promising top-order batsman and wicket-keeper.

Despite being born in Harare, Kingsley has lived all his life in Mutare, although his mother came to Harare briefly for his birth to be sure of the best available medical facilities. He comes from pioneer stock, one of his ancestors being the well-known Kingsley Fairbridge, to whom there is a memorial in the city of Mutare. Remarkably he has no family background in cricket, but began to develop an interest in the game at Hillcrest Primary School. His love for cricket and ability in the game grew slowly but surely, until by the end of his schooldays he decided that he enjoyed playing so much that if he had the talent he would love to play professionally.


As we go to press Zimbabwe will be trying to bounce back from their morale destroying final day loss to the West Indies. CricInfo will have live coverage as usual.

The Logan Cup has completed its third round, with Midlands completeing a historic win over Matabeleland, and Manicaland drawing with Mashonaland
[Zimbabwe in the West Indies | Logan Cup]


Alistair Campbell is currently touring the West Indies with the Zimbabwe team. He will be supplying us regular installments from his tour diary, with his impressions of Zimbabwe's first tour of the Caribbean. Here we include excerpts describing the first 4 days of the gripping first Test.

March 17: Everything to play for after two days Well, it's the end of a very long second day, about seven and half hours of Test cricket in all. A slow over rate from the West Indians added to a day already lengthened as a result of the play lost on the first day. However, for the Test cricket enthusiast it was a thoroughly enthralling day of cricket, as has the Test been thus far. Day one started in the perfect manner, with Andy Flower winning the toss and putting them in on a wicket that had a tinge of green to it. Heath Streak confirmed the captain's decision with a wicket with his third ball, Griffiths lbw for 0. The ball was nipping around a bit and the bowlers got it in the right areas. However, countless play and misses and a dropped catch later, we managed to get our second wicket through a run out. The ball was pushed into the covers and Brian Murphy charged after it, threw it to the bowler on the swivel and Neil Johnson obliged by taking the bails off (the ball only nicked the leg stump as he had to underarm it some two metres) and Gayle was out for 33.

March 19: A chance to make history: Well, it's the end of day four and what a Test match it is turning out to be. At the end of my last report I alluded to the fact that day three would be a very pivotal day in this Test match. We needed to bat with the same resolve that Gripper and Flower had shown and try and get a first innings lead.

Walsh and Ambrose again did the bulk of the bowling, and again were outstanding and a little unfortunate. Andy Flower edged Walsh to third slip in the first over of the day and Chanderpaul put the chance down. We were moving along comfortably enough when the rain came down again, which it has done at regular intervals all through this Test. When play commenced again Andy Flower had another piece of good fortune when he edged Ambrose to first slip where Gayle spilled the chance. Batting was extremely difficult, as the ball was reverse-swinging and keeping low. Mixed in with this, Ambrose and Walsh bowling superbly, you couldn't help get the feeling that something was going to happen.
[Complete diary]


Comments on the West Indies tour, Tatenda Taibu, greetings from round the world and more.
[Your letters | Contact us]



The Vigne Cup came to a conclusion last week in Harare. Clive Ruffell reports

5 March: Most sides were missing star players due to the Logan Cup matches played over the same weekend, and also to the national squad touring the West Indies. This week's Vigne Cup matches were all low-scoring affairs, perhaps due to slow outfields. Winstonians stole the limelight with a significant first victory in the league, and Harare Sports Club put on their worst performance in many a game against Alexandra. National League champions Old Hararians suffered their second defeat of the season against Universals and their hopes of performing the double by winning both the national league and the Vigne Cup were badly dented. It was the first win in the Vigne Cup this season for Universals,

12 March: Rain and waterlogged pitches prevented any play in all but one of the Vigne Cup matches in the penultimate round of the competition. However, conditions at Alexandra Sports Club were deemed good enough for play in a top of the table clash between national league champions Old Hararians, and Alexandra, currently leading the Vigne Cup table. Fortunately, a result was possible in this crucial Vigne Cup match, albeit with assistance from the dreaded Duckworth-Lewis method. A revised target was reached by OH with 4 balls to spare.

19 Mar: As was the case last week, only one Vigne Cup match was possible this week due to waterlogged grounds, in a disappointing end to the season. In a match of no consequence to the final log standings, HSC ended their season in disappointing fashion as they went down to the National League champions in the final round of the Vigne Cup competition on Sunday. With the Alexandra v Old Georgians match abandoned due to unsuitable playing conditions at Groombridge, the five points awarded each team ensured Alex the title.
[Reports and Scorecards]

Picture of the Week


Henry Olonga meets the British high Commissioner
and CricInfo's CEO, Simon King

Archive of past issues

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