BY Kevin Mapasure
Zimbabwe cricket icon Peter Chingoka, who died last week, received a massive send off with hundreds converging at his burial in Harare yesterday.
The programme began with a church service at St Georges College in the morning which was attended by cricket personalities, government officials, as well as people from other sporting disciplines.
Among those who attended the church service and burial at Glen Forest Cemetery are former Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga, former Dynamos coach David
Mandigora as well as July Sharara, among others.
Former Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Wilson Manase, who took over after Chingoka and retired in 2014 also attended as did members of the Zimbabwe Olympic
Committee and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
Former Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda was present to bid his farewell to his friend together with other current and former council officials while politicians
such as Simba Makoni also graced the occasion.
ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said that he had been mentored by Chingoka and continued to receive guidance from him even during the time he was in hospital.
Mukuhlani said that Chingoka kept in touch with him during the time they were fighting with the SRC over the control of cricket in the country.
“Him having been in the cricket circles for long, he took it upon himself to mentor me and many others,” Mukuhlani said. “He lived half of his life in cricket
administration. He cultured ZC in a way that we see it today. His belief was to see the game spread to all the corners of the country which saw the increase
for the number of provinces from five to the 10 that we have today. Of course, it brought about the increase in the number of black players participating and
more so black administrators. He represented Zimbabwe well at international level from 1992 to 2014. Today, we have good relations with India and that
foundation was laid by Peter. When I was elected ZC chairman in 2015, Peter took me to India to introduce me to the members of the Board of Control for Cricket
Mukuhlani added that Zimbabwe had lost one of its finest sports administrators.
“We are filled with joy that we are fulfilling some of his dreams; in the way the game is shaping up in the country. He loved women’s cricket and he was there
when we had the World Cup qualifiers, he was frail, but he came to watch games.”
ZC will look to have a tournament in honour of Chingoka.
National team captain Hamilton Masakadza said that he had learnt a lot from Chingoka from the time that he started playing the game professionally.
“When I first came onto the scene, he took me under his wings and treated me much like his son. He was always confident in our abilities. He believed in us.
I’ll never forget how proud he was when that faith in me was proved and justified with my debut hundred,” Masakadza said.
Former captain Elton Chigumbura said that Chingoka pushed him to succeed during his time as skipper.
“He was a father and teacher. Every time I played a match I used to go and see him at the chairman’s box and he would tell me the good and the bad of the game.
I learnt a lot from those conversations and he expected a lot from me to lead from the front when I was captain,” he said.