BY Kevin Mapasure
Former Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Peter Chingoka had died.
He was 65.
Chingoka had been unwell for sometime and succumbed to an undisclosed illness at a local hospital yesterday.
He left ZC in 2014 when he quit to pass on the baton to Wilson Manase, having been at the helm of the game since 1992.
He served the then Zimbabwe Cricket Union as vice-president between 1990 and 1992 when he was elevated to become the first black chairman.
ZC, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) led the tributes of one of Zimbabwe’s top cricket administrators.
He was the first black Zimbabwean to play cricket at a highest level in the 1970s.
ZC said they were saddened by the death of Chingoka.
“We were saddened to learn of the death of former chairman Peter Chingoka who passed on today aged 65. Well-known and admired for his immense contribution to cricket, he worked selflessly and tirelessly for decades to develop and elevate the game,” ZC wrote on their official Twitter handle yesterday.
Like ZC, the ICC was also saddened by the death of Chingoka who served on their board for about two decades.
“The International Cricket Council was today saddened to learn of the death of Peter Chingoka after the former ZC chief died at the age of 65,” the ICC statement read in part.
“Chingoka had a long career as a cricket administrator, including as the president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (as Zimbabwe Cricket was called then) from 1992 to 2014, where he assumed the title of chairman in 2001 and significantly contributed to the game’s development across Africa. He also was a member of the ICC board during that time.”
In a separate statement, ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: “The death of Chingoka is sad news for the cricket world. He was widely acknowledged as an important leader in cricket in Zimbabwe and was a respected member of the ICC board.
“It was with great sadness that we learnt of his death. On behalf of the ICC, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
The SRC noted that Chingoka had made an immense contribution to sport in general.
“We have received with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness the news of the passing on of Peter Chingoka, a revered and long serving cricket administrator.
Chingoka’s commitment to sport in general and cricket in particular was unquestionable as evidenced by his immeasurable and invaluable contribution to the growth and development of cricket. Though Chingoka had retired from the active administration of cricket, he still remained a vital cog and a repository of cricket knowledge in the country (and he) could be called upon to give wise counsel at any time. The void that Chingoka has left will undoubtedly be very difficult to fill. On behalf of the Sports and Recreation Commission, we would like to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and the cricket fraternity for the sad loss of a beloved one and a colleague. May the Lord Almighty comfort and strengthen you during this dark and difficult period. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” SRC wrote on their Facebook page.
As an all-rounder in the 1970s, Chingoka was the first black Rhodesian cricketer to play at a highest level, appearing in List A games for the South Africa African XI, which he captained in two matches in the Gillette Cup competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.
Even after he had left administration of the game, he was a regular feature at national team matches.
Burial arrangements are yet to be announced.