It’s back to the drawing board for ZC

 This is a new low for the cricket team which only a few months ago was flying and capable of beating anyone.

THE Zimbabwe National Cricket Team lost a home series to Ireland for the first time when they surrendered to a 2-0 defeat in the One Day Internationals.

 This was a follow up to a 2-1 loss in the T-20 series which was also played at the Harare Sports Club.

 This is a new low for the cricket team which only a few months ago was flying and capable of beating anyone.

 In August, the Chevrons were playing well in the International Cricket Council World Cup qualifiers which were hosted in Bulawayo and Harare.

One of their famous performances was the win over West Indies at Harare Sports Club and they looked well-set to qualify for the global showcase.

 That was until they reached the Super Six stage where they faced Oman, Sri Lanka and Scotland.

 They needed two wins from those three matches.

 A win against Oman was delivered but it was not without struggles. Then against Sri Lanka the Chevrons were soundly beaten which was not so much of a concern as they needed only to defeat Scotland to claim their place at the top table.

Yet to everyone's shock and surprise, Zimbabwe lost that match which saw their chances disappear.

 That defeat triggered memories of 2018 when Zimbabwe lost to United Arab Emirates at Harare Sports Club to squander the chance to play at the World Cup.

 Only recently they had a chance to make up for that disappointment when they played at the ICC T-20 World Cup qualifier Africa region in Namibia.

Zimbabwe arrived in Windhoek as the only Test playing nation and outright favourites despite that just two weeks prior, they had lost a T-20 series to Namibia.

 Their defeat to Uganda and consequent failure to qualify has raised so much concern among stakeholders.

 We implore the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board to go back to the drawing board and have a relook at what could be the problem. The silence of the board in such desperate times is shocking.

ZC has not bothered to address stakeholders on the way forward as the team slides on a greasy pole. Dave Houghton did well in his first 18 months as coach. However, he failed in two qualifiers and succeeded in one.

 We don't encourage constant hiring and firing of coaches but ZC should look at itself and see whether it has set the right conditions for success.

 There are numerous domestic tournaments that are being organised by ZC, but the question is, are they helping to develop talent?

Zimbabwe were without captain Craig Ervine and Sean Williams in the Ireland series. And without them, batting frailties were badly exposed.  The Chevrons over relied on Ervine, Williams and Sikandar Raza. The three are now in their late 30s and on their way out.  What is the plan without these batting stalwarts?

Zimbabwe will co-host the 2027 ICC World Cup finals with South Africa. ZC needs to build a team for that showcase and it cannot afford to start losing fans now.

It needs to build momentum now and make cricket the most popular sport, but the opposite is true at this stage.

We implore ZC to introspect and then see how it can improve its structures to lay a platform for success.

 This board had two 50 over World Cup qualifier failures under its watch.

It is time for the board to examine itself before it critically looks at the lower structures.

We demand urgent action because the cricket team is fast moving towards being a national embarrassment.


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