Zimbabwe Cricket captain Chigumbura quits

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Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Elton Chigumbura has quit his job.

Opening batsmen Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza have since emerged as the favourites to take up the job.

Chigumbura, who has been in the firing line for loss of form, has since tendered his resignation although the board has not yet deliberated on it.

Reliable sources informed NewsDay Sport this week that Chigumbura decided to quit as captain to concentrate on his own game.

“He is not happy with his own form and he felt he needed to relieve himself of the captaincy burden as it had negatively affected his game,” said the source.

“He has since tendered his resignation and he cited his lack of form since taking up the post last year as the major reason for the decision to give up the demanding job.”

Chigumbura declined to make any comment referring all questions to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC).

Efforts to get comment from ZC were further frustrated as spokesperson Shingai Rhuhwaya was said to be out of town and would only return at the weekend.

The informed source further revealed that while the two favourites for the top job, Taylor and Masakadza, had not yet been approached about taking over, it is the former who was more likely to land it.

Masakadza has his own form with the national team to worry about, having been left out of the World Cup squad last month.

There had been suggestions after the World Cup that either Raymond Price or Tatenda Taibu get the job but it looks like the two will miss out on this one as long as one of the favoured duo accepts the offer.

Price is the most experienced player in the team, but his age might have sidelined him with fewer years ahead at international level.

Taibu has had his chance in the job, but he has had too many clashes with the authorities.

Taylor has been Zimbabwe’s shining light as the top order batsman, but he too has not been as consistent as he would have liked, yet still he has been around long enough to know the demands of the job having made his Test and one-day-international (ODI) debut in 2004.

Having taken over the captaincy from Prosper Utseya a year ago, Chigumbura’s runs have dried and his performance with the ball has also been lamentable.

At the World Cup he managed 96 runs in six innings and it has been a year since he scored a half-century in a competitive match.

Zimbabwe will resume playing Test matches in July with a home series against Bangladesh before two other home series against Pakistan and New Zealand and a new captain will be in place by then.

Taylor has played 10 Tests while his opening partner Masakadza has 15 under his belt.

The former has scored three Test half-centuries while Masakadza has one century and three half tons. Taylor has more ODI experience having played 105 matches to Masakadza’s 98, with each scoring 2 990 and 2 601 runs respectively.

The 25-year-old Taylor has four centuries and 20 half-centuries in the 50-overs format of the game, while his rival for the job has scored three centuries and sixteen 50s.

Taylor has had more success against more reputable opposition with centuries against South Africa and Sri Lanka while the 27-year-old Masakadza’s best has been against lower sides Kenya (178 not out) and Bangladesh.