WHILE everybody celebrates that Peter Chingoka is no longer the chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) after 22 years at the helm, there is little chance cricket will see change in the way it is run.
Wilson Manase is now the chairman of ZC, having deputised Chingoka for the last four years learning a thing or two.
Allegations were rife that during Chingoka’s tenure, it was simply a job for the boys. You had to be friends with him and his board to stay in the game, to be a convener of selectors, to be a coach and even to be a cricket captain. Anything that went against him was not acceptable.
So as Manase takes over, does the country expect a difference in the way he will run cricket?
We can’t even host a team — Afghanistan had to come to Zimbabwe at their own expense and even managed to win two of the four one-day internationals they played in Bulawayo.
Chingoka did away with Heath Streak and Grant Flower and Pakistan and Bangladesh pounced and beat us — and they will trump over us when we play them again.
Under Chingoka, player material was always limited only to Takashinga boys — putting loyalty ahead of performance. When a convener of selectors was threatened by those more qualified than he, they cried racism.
Players from other provinces were no longer considered for the national team.
The crisis at ZC is administrative, financial and technical. Financial in that ZC has not been able to extricate itself from its lenders, hence the reluctance by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to bail them out.
We need to sort out this financial mess now and stop seeing shadows everywhere and look at where we went wrong in the last two decades.
The conditions imposed by ICC were not acceptable at ZC because they threatened the status quo. That changes will be proposed to the administrative structures of the game is neither here nor there because it is still the same characters that are in the board — the same people that have always taken a dim view of different opinions.
Manase’s broad objective should be to rebuild the game, the confidence it has lost and contacts across the world; and create a huge player base which is defined by talent — and not by affiliation, race and tribe.
He should be open and fair to all he will be dealing with, that is, the media, players, technical team, conveners and administrative staff.
If decisions have to be made, he should be bold and make them. If people have to be fired, they should be fired!
Manase ought to understand the greater vision and articulate it nationally and he will be guaranteed of support.
Manase’s biggest challenge will be to be his own man. The country cries out to him to be different from his predecessor and move the game of cricket forward.
Anything less will confirm our worst fear which is that leadership has changed in name only and not in deed.