THE recent victory by the the Chevrons over Bangladesh in both the One-Day International (ODI) and the T20 version of the game shows that Zimbabweans have the capacity to find homegrown solutions to their problems.
The appointment of Hamilton Masakadza as director of cricket in 2019 showed the cricket board’s reliance in home talent to develop the game.
And the recent reshuffle of the coaching department showed the same trend.
Dave Houghton, a former Zimbabwe batter, was appointed head coach, replacing Lalchand Rajput, a 64-year-old Indian.
The results are already beginning to show as the Chevrons were able to subdue a foe who had appeared invincible all along.
The 2-1 win in the T20 version was the first International series success over the Asians.
The victory in the ODI series was particularly remarkable as the Chevrons were missing two key players.
Captain Greg Ervine, who was replaced by Regis Chakabva, was recovering from hamstring problems while all-rounder Sean Williams was attending to personal issues.
Zimbabwe’s series victory is outstanding since Bangladesh had just whitewashed the feared West Indies 3-0 a month earlier.
The country’s transformation becomes even more remarkable if we consider that, earlier this year, Zimbabwe crashed to Afghanistan, a newcomer to test cricket.
More humiliating was the thrashing by Namibia, an Associate member.
And yet in the 1990s Zimbabwe had recorded astonishing victories, beating test giants like Australia and England.
Earlier this week, we celebrated Heroes’ Day in remembrance of the thousands who sacrificed their lives to rid the country of racist colonial rule.
But as we know, some bad habits are hard to rid of.
This was witnessed in cricket, where whites who dominated the game deliberately kept out blacks.
The ZANU PF Government would have none of that.
When a compulsory quota system was introduced to promote black players, that was too much for the whites to stomach.
Influenced by the British, white cricketers with a sprinkling of black puppets tried to cause disorder by bringing politics into the game.
Such orchestrated resistance had been witnessed during the armed struggle, but the revolutionary tide swept it aside.
Blacks had to be included in the game regardless of the wishes of the racists.
When a white captain, Heath Streak, was sacked by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union in 2004, white cricketers saw this as an opportunity to cripple Zimbabwe cricket.
Fourteen other cricketers, mostly whites, resigned en masse.
For a while the standard of the game dropped drastically leading to the temporary suspension of our test status, at another time, voluntarily.
But then Zimbabweans, even from their days of the armed struggle, are known for their resilience.
Looking at recent victories over Bangladesh with a Zimbabwean head coach, we can see how homegrown solutions can easily solve our problems.
Without taking anything away from the star role taken by Sikandar Raza with both bat and ball, we must pause for a moment to take note of some of the names that dominate our cricket today.
Gone are the days of Duncan Fletcher, Heath Streak, Eddo Brandes, Graem Hick, David Houghton and Andy and Grant Flower, among others.
In today’s Zimbabwean cricket, you come across names like Chakabva, Innocent Kaia, Tony Manyonga, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani and Wesley Madhevere, among others.
Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ilizweliyakwa ngabanikazi.
We can fix our problems by ourselves.
The British or Americans will never do it for us.
We are amazed when CCC has to be directed by a Briton to appoint a shadow Cabinet. We also understand that they were give a draft constitution.
May be Nelson Chamisa was instructed by Professor Stephen Chan or some other Briton not to attend the Heroes’ Day celebrations at the sacred memorial!