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Zimbabwe Cricket Union




Issue 18, March 31 2000


Raj Patel (Kenya)

I have been reading your newsletter for a few months with keen interest. I am originally from Kenya and it very much interests me to see the development of black players in the two countries. In Kenya the black players have developed because the rich patrons of the Indian cricket clubs pay to have the players play full-time cricket so they are virtually professional cricketers. Why has this not been done in Zimbabwe, i.e. black cricketers given jobs by white firms to play cricket; as I find it very interesting that half the Kenyan team is black while the development in Zimbabwe does not seem the same.

Reply: Some companies in the past did provide work for cricketers, but in fact the top players now are full professionals paid by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, so there is not such a need for that. The most promising younger black players are members of the CFX Academy, which also pays them a full-time wage. The most promising young black school cricketers are awarded ZCU scholarships in top cricket-playing schools, which not only helps their cricket but also their education. So plenty is being done, but with the professionalisation of the game here there is not the same need for firms to give jobs to play cricket.

Andries van Tonder (England)

Whilst looking at Zim Cricket Online letters I noticed that an old school mate of mine Itayi Pswarayi had e-mailed you. Please could you send me his address so I can get hold of him.

As for the cricket. How disappointing! I checked Teletext and saw Zimbabwe were 41 for 3 and then I checked later only to find them 63 all out! Another collapse similar to the debacle against Australia last year. When will they learn to win? They play well enough to win and then throw it away when victory is in sight over and over again. Oh well such is International cricket. I am hoping to watch some of the games in the summer. Trent Bridge is only half an hour's drive away so I would like to watch the Second Test. Time will tell.

I agree with some of the sentiments expressed by some of the people on the website. Stephen Wright, Barney Rogers et al are all playing club cricket yet because of their performances at school they are overlooked for selection at National level. I am glad that they are giving Tatenda Taibu a chance as he fully deserves his place. I am also glad to see that, at last, a decent first class challenge has emerged.

Gary Wilkinson (London, UK)

Let me start by following many others in congratulating you on a fine newsletter. I now know more about Zim cricket living here in the UK, than I did when I lived in Zim (prior to 1995). I am a regular reader of the newsletter and find it most entertaining.

Reading your bio on Mark Burmester, last week, brought back a few memories of my schooldays at Eaglesvale - I was a couple of years younger than Mark, but remember watching him (and Dion Yatras, also currently playing for the Manicas) in our excellent First XI win many a spectacular game. I remember that Mark was one the stars of that team, but recall that the best player was a guy called Gary Kirk who, I believe, emigrated to Oz shortly after leaving school - he was an highly talented sportsman; a member of every first team Eaglesvale boys put out, whether it be cricket, hockey, tennis or rugby. He was a tremendous "back-foot" batsman, very powerful, and I can still remember him belting a spinner at Cranborne High for four, huge, successive sixes.

If you get another chance to speak to Mark, I wonder if you could ask if he knows what happened to Gary Kirk - I'm sure he'd have progressed to the Zim national team had his family stayed in Zim.

I must also thank you personally for fostering my own interest in cricket, via the Eagles Cricket Tournaments that you used to organise during school holidays (for kids aged about 10-12) during the early eighties. I was a fairly ordinary cricketer, until called in as a late replacement in the final one year. I was lucky enough to make a few runs in the game, and my interest in cricket was secured. Incidentally, I also remember playing with/against a young Murray Goodwin and his brother Russell in those tournaments - it always bugs me to see the Aussies claim they taught Murray everything he knows - he started his playing days in Zim!

Thanks to that and subsequent supportive school cricket teachers (not least Tim Brown at Eaglesvale - Robin's brother) I was able to go on and make the Fawns squad of 1995 (which included Paul Strang and Grant Flower) and participate in the Zim schools trials in later years. Needless to say, when I left school there was no such thing as an Academy and the pressures of work (as an articled clerk) put paid to my playing any further serious cricket. I'm sure the same applies to many of the cricketers of my generation - many of them are lost to priorities outside of cricket (usually family or economic).

Anyway keep up the good work, and I look forward to the next issue detailing Zim's famous win over the Windies in Jamaica! I hope the situation in Zim improves soon...

Roy Jones (Richmond, Surrey, UK)

Just another congratulations from an avid follower of the Zimbabwe Cricket scene. Your hard work in the cause of Zimbabwe cricket is much appreciated.

What a success this years Logan Cup has been, and all credit to the Academy personnel for the great advances some of the youngsters have made. It is really good to see Midlands and Manicaland back in the fold. I was involved in Schools cricket (at Plumtree) until 1996 and so am thrilled to see the progress made by the likes of Dirk Viljoen, Doug Marillier et al, and especially Henry Olonga. Your profiles and interviews with all the youngsters make especially good reading.

It's just a pity that the selection for the Sri Lanka tour was made so early. I think the incentive of such a tour as a reward for performance in the Logan Cup would have only added to the intensity of the competition.

Anyhow, keep up the good work.

PS Please give my regards to Mike Whiley!

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