A serious rethink at Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is needed if national pride is to be salvaged following the national team’s humiliating three-match series whitewash defeat at the hands of New Zealand.
Zimbabwe lost the one-off Test last week and the Black Caps completed the one-day international (ODI) series whitewash yesterday with a 202-run victory at McLean Park in Napier, much to the disgust of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart.
Coltart described the performance as disgraceful and questioned the wisdom of taking 10 support staff on the tour while leaving behind specialist players, in particular opening batsman Vusi Sibanda. After watching Zimbabwe clobbered, despite captain Brendan Taylor’s 65, Coltart made a series if tweets:
“National pride is a stake, this disgraceful performance was a combination of poor selection and wrong priorities. Feel for Taylor who tried.
“Need for a serious rethink in Zim Cricket. 10 support staff in NZ including two managers meant that specialist players left in Zim. Top heavy.
“I really question the team selection. Vusi’s non-inclusion and how could Shingi be left out after superb performances in the 1st two ODIs?”
Sibanda was dropped for opting to play grade cricket in Australia instead of domestic cricket which was a violation of the ZC contract rules.
According to ZC regulations, players who are not a part of domestic cricket will not be considered for the national team. Sibanda declined the offer from his franchise MidWest Rhinos at the start of the domestic season on September, 2011.
He even did not take part in the Stanbic T20 competition and chose to play for Eastern Suburbs, Australia, instead.
Masakadza picked up four wickets for 46 runs in the opening 90-run loss and followed that up with one wicket for 68 and 38 runs as Zimbabwe lost the match by 141 runs before being dropped for yesterday’s huge loss.
Zimbabwe were never in the match when they batted, though Taylor (65) and Tatenda Taibu (26) combined for a 67-run third wicket partnership. Both were well caught by substitute fielder Colin de Grandhomme, leaving the visitors floundering at 115 for five.
New Zealand had looked like they might post a target of 400-plus following the blistering 153-run opening stand between Martin Guptill (85) and Rob Nicol (61).
Nicol, who scored 146 in the second match in Whangarei, was dropped by Tino Mawoyo on 10 in just the third over and made the Africans pay before he was trapped lbw by Prosper Utseya on the final ball of the 22nd over.
Guptill, who scored 70 in the first match and 77 in the second, had looked well placed for a century, but was dismissed on the next ball when he missed a wide down the leg side by left-arm spinner Ray Price, fell over and was stumped by Taibu.