ON Thursday, the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport, Art and Culture and instead of talking about how to revive the game, they chanted the old song about racial imbalances.
The committee did not help matters either as they seemed to be aiding in the push for this agenda — a clear diversion from real issues of maladministration at ZC that has seen the national team fail to play Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa, culminating in the failure to pay workers leading to a strike.
The committee wants Stephen Mangongo, by virtue of being black, to be the national cricket team coach despite the fact that ZC admits he needs some “sharpening” before he can get the job at the end of Andy Waller’s contract.
The committee also wanted to know why the cricket captain is white.
We thought the captain was Zimbabwean! Next, when ZC appoints a black captain, they might also want to know which tribe he comes from!
What the committee is encouraging is corruption — they want ZC to look the other way when it comes to a black man’s qualifications, yet they are the same people who will start to question why results are not coming when their “man” fails to deliver.
We cannot be defenders of mediocrity on the basis of skin colour.
Players and coaches should be selected on the basis of merit and nothing else.
ZC vice-chairman Wilson Manase reckons there is a hidden racial hangover especially when it comes to foreign media.
Time and again, we have not been able to get comments from the ZC leadership on certain issues yet foreign media will have their voices.
We quote: “There are some elements that still have a racial hangover that control some of the players.
“The players themselves are OK, they interact well with black players. But we have people who are working hard to make sure the game is disturbed in the country.
“They influence some of these players to leave so that ZC is blamed and they rush to international publications particularly Cricinfo with stories demonising the administration.”
When workers are not paid they are free to seek alternative employment because they have families to feed, just like the ZC leadership.
It has only been recent that ZC started opening up to the local media after we exposed the matrix of a debt that involves the
union, its leadership and a local bank.
We believe ZC should choose the best player to lead, the best coach and then demand results instead of fulfilling “requirements” that will not add value to the team.