THE Australian government has paid tribute to Zimbabwean cricketers for their resilience and dedication to duty which the country’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, says has helped to keep Zimbabwean cricket afloat despite having gone through various challenges.
Neuhaus told NewsDay Sport that the dedication shown by Zimbabwe’s cricket players in the face of several challenges deserved special mention.
“For Zimbabwe, I think it is very important that despite the challenges of recent years, the players have carried on playing, to which I must pay special tribute,” Neuhaus said.
Zimbabwe on Sunday posted a grand win over Australia which marked their first win over the Aussies in a one-day international (ODI) game in 31 years.
The Australia cricket team arrived in Harare on August 21 for a triangular ODI Series against hosts Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The last time the Aussies came to Zimbabwe was in 2004 and Neuhaus said the development was a positive step towards the re-engagement process between his country and Zimbabwe.
Neuhaus said Australia was committed to engaging Zimbabwe at all levels.
He implored the Zimbabwean government to ensure adequate funding for cricket in the country so as to promote the growth of the sport while at the same time boosting team morale among players.
“What would be most important is for the officials to make sure that they support them [cricket players] properly so that they can be able to build cricket in Zimbabwe. That would be very important for Zimbabwe and I think it would encourage them to be like other big teams such as Australia,” Neuhaus said.
New Zimbabwe cricket board chairman Wilson Manase is on record admitting that the marketing and financing of cricket in the country needed to improve so as to promote the development of the sport.
He said other areas that needed to be looked into included development as well as re-organisation of the administration of the game.
The board has started re-organising its various committees following several decisions made in the last few weeks.
The captaincy was split between Elton Chigumbura (ODIs and T20s) and Brendan Taylor (Tests), Wayne James has been removed as a selector, Stephen Mangongo is the new coach after taking over from Andy Waller, while Peter Chingoka also stepped down.