by Kevin Mapasure
Southern Rocks coach Shepherd Makunura is revelling in his fourth Logan Cup title on the trot after leading the Masvingo-based side to glory on their return to the elite league.
Makunura led Mountaineers to three titles in the 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 seasons before he reverted to Rocks upon their return this season.
Rocks returned after they had been disbanded as a cost-cutting measure by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), but this year they were reestablished and Makunura, who had coached them before moving to Mountianeers, was asked to lead them again.
He took with him a few players from Mountaineers and teamed up to make a perfect record, winning all the matches that they played this season.
Just like other teams, they faced challenges mainly due to interruptions caused by the COVID-19 restrictions.
Rocks, however, maintained their momentum to make a clean sweep in the premier domestic competition.
They enjoyed the services of Ben Curran, of former national team coach Kevin and brother to Sam and Tom who both play for England, as well as Shane Snater for the first round of matches.
The two had to leave after the league was suspended following a government-imposed lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Makunura is pleased with the success he has had with Rocks as well as the personal milestone of winning a quadruple and is already aiming for an unprecedented quintuple.
He says his success has been centred on getting the best out of the players.
“My coaching philosophy has always been player centred on trying to get the best out of each individual. It feels great to have made such an impact. Coaches are mainly judged by the number of trophies they win and it’s been great so far,” he told NewsDaySport.
“The players have been fantastic. Their work ethic has been amazing despite all the challenges we have encountered. Some of the players were with me at Mountaineers, so we have developed respect and a mutual understanding.”
He added that after winning a treble with Mountaineers, he did not hesitate to move to Rocks after he was approached as he sought new challenges.
“I was approached by the ZC hierarchy when the idea of bringing in the Rocks was mooted and I felt I needed a new challenge,” he said.
Rocks had in their ranks players that included Roy Kaia who was named batsman and player of the tournament as well as Tendai Chisoro who won the bowler of the tournament accolade.
Makunura, who is the national team bowling coach, hopes that in future he can get the chance to follow in the footsteps of Stephen Mangongo and Walter Chawaguta, who so far are the only Zimbabwean black coaches to coach the national team.
He says he is also hoping to lead his team to glory in the limited overs tournaments that are coming up starting next week.
- Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinMapasure