Local cricket blossoms


Where once Cricinfo managing editor Martin Williamson wrote an epitaph on Zimbabwe cricket four years ago, the cricket guru has eased on the Southern African country signaling a softening stance by the international media’s war cry to have local cricket wiped out of the world map.
In an article headlined “And now the end is near”, in 2006 Williamson had literally taken local cricket to the grave with his fellow international media corps acting as mourners.
At that time he wrote: “Bankrupt, and lacking experienced administrators or any players of note, it is only a matter of time before Zimbabwe Cricket ceases to have any meaningful role to play on the international stage.
“The corpse might still be warm, but the funeral arrangements can start. It’s a tragic day for Zimbabwe, and for world cricket.”
But thanks to the largely improved Zimbabwe side in 2010, Williamson’s assistant Liam Brickhill sees “Zimbabwe emerging from the wilderness.”
Brickhill thinks Zimbabwe are now a much improved side and for the first time embraces efforts to get participation from blacks.
He wrote: “Things being as they are, one could even argue that the cricket system in the country is somewhat ahead of South Africa, where Makhaya Ntini has bemoaned the lack of black advancement in cricket.
“A particularly heartening story came out of Zimbabwe cricket’s programme to unearth fast-bowling talent. When the trials moved to Masvingo, people travelled from all over the province to audition, but none from further away than four young cricketers who journeyed more than 200km from Chiredzi to have an opportunity to fulfill their cricketing dreams”.
Indeed cricket is about to take its place in the sunshine again after a satisfactory performance which saw Zimbabwe beat India back to back in the Micromax triangular series. The Elton Chigumbura captained side also claimed the scalp of Sri Lanka in the triangular series.
Though like Brendan Taylor and Chigumbura have shown maturity in their game, the team still lacks the cutting edge when it matters most after losing in the Micromax final and T20 final.