HUNDREDS of people turned out at St Georges College Cathedral in the capital to pay their last respects to former Zimbabwe coach Kevin Curran who passed away in Mutare last Wednesday while jogging.
Report by Daniel Nhakaniso Sports Reporter
Curran, whose unexpected death shocked the cricketing world, received a befitting heroes’ sendoff with several tributes led by former teammates, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) officials and family members.
The two-hour service was attended by several dignitaries, friends and family, current and former cricketers, the late Curran’s colleagues in the local cricket fraternity and the Minister of Education, Sport Arts and Culture David Coltart.
Former Zimbabwe cricketer Andy Pycroft, who is now a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, was the first to read out tributes on behalf of former national team players John Traicos and current Indian coach Duncan Fletcher.
ZC chairman Peter Chingoka delivered the eulogy, while former managing director Ozias Bvute spoke about his personal experiences with Curran.
Mid West Rhinos’ chief executive Kenyon Ziehl, Curran’s cousin spoke on his experiences with Curran from their early childhood in Rusape, while his son Tom also paid tribute to his late father.
Mashonaland Eagles players then did a guard of honor as a sign of respect to their coach as his white casket, which had a large flower arrangement on top, was led to the hearse after the church service.
Curran was expected to be laid to rest later yesterday at a private funeral.
He was born in Rusape in 1959.
Curran made his international debut at 20 and was an integral part of the Zimbabwe team at the 1983 and 1987 World Cups, but played the majority of his cricket for English counties Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire and for Natal in South Africa.
Curran was coaching Mashonaland Eagles, who were in Mutare to play Mountaineers in a one-dayer and Twenty20 game when he died.
He was known throughout his playing career for his physical fitness and stamina and retired in 1999 after a first-class career spanning over two decades.
Curran returned to Zimbabwe in 2004 to take up a full-time position as director of the national academy and coach of the Under-19 team, but assumed the role of national coach a year later following the departure of West Indian Phil Simmons.