Former Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Elton Chigumbura, who resigned from his post this week, has revealed that his decision to give up the job was inspired by the need for him to justify his place in the team.
NewsDay Sport rightly revealed yesterday that Chigumbura had resigned as captain for all three forms of cricket for the national team and yesterday the all-rounder said in an interview that his game had been negatively affected by the demands of the job.
“First and foremost I am selected to score runs and get wickets. This is something I have not been doing to the best of my abilities of late, especially the last three months. They have been difficult with all the demands of the captaincy job,” said Chigumbura. “I have thought long and hard about the job since my return from the World Cup and I have consulted my family and friends about it. While some still think I should have stayed on others agreed with me that I needed to concentrate on my own game and let somebody else lead the team.”
The 25-year-old also revealed that he feared he could lose his place in the team at some point and eventually get fired so he decided to act so that he could justify his inclusion in the team by doing what he is selected to.
“I think I will be more useful in the team if I regain my form and I know having relieved myself of this burden I will get back to my best. I have received so much support from Zimbabwe Cricket during my time and the players were brilliant to work with, they allowed me to express myself and I did the same, especially with the senior players.”
Among the first few people to learn about Chigumbura’s decision are his close friend and predecessor Prosper Utseya who advised him that his own performance should come first.
“We are very close and I always go to him for advice and likewise he comes to me. When I asked him about it he told me that it was more important for me to help the team by scoring runs and bowling well. He also thought the job was weighing too much on me and he supported my decision.”
For Chigumbura the only blemish in his reign was that he failed at his own performance yet he enjoyed being captain the team.
Among best moments were Zimbabwe’s two victories against India and Sri Lanka in a triangular series in June last year.
“During my time the team transformed to playing positive cricket and we were always trying to win no matter who we played. I think as a group we enjoyed playing that type of game and it is unfortunate for me that I have to leave the job yet it is the best thing to do if I am to stay in the team.”
The hard-hitting batman hopes that he will figure in the team when Zimbabwe resume playing Tests in two months time against Bangladesh.
The talented player has been working on his fitness and he will resume training with the rest of the squad on May 2.