‘Cricket is a Gentlemen’s game’, it is a popular phrase and signifies the character of everyone involved with the game of cricket. However, it is no harm to signify Zimbabwean Cricket Team as the ‘Boys of the Cricketing World’. Do not let the term mislead you. The composition of Zimbabwean team involves mostly young players who are very much inexperienced at this level. However, they bring another enthusiasm to the game. The celebration that the players have, with the fall of a wicket and a victory being scored, is simply a moment that should be caught in a camera and savored for a long time.
History of Zimbabwe Cricket Union
Zimbabwean Team had the first taste of international Cricket in the third edition of the World Cup of Cricket (1983) in England. David Vs Goliath was the term given to their first encounter against Australia and eventually the result matched the primitive outcome. Zimbabwe scored a victory to remember for ages in their first game. They almost repeated the performance against India in the same edition (which was won by India), however, India scrapped through. They had reasonable outing in the World Cups of 1983, 1987 and 1982, and outstanding performances in matches with the minnow teams before finally getting the test status in the year 1992 against the mighty Indians at the Harare Sports Club. They did well to secure a draw in that game. History of Zimbabwean Cricket, although it has been short, has seen some world class cricketers including Dave Houghton, Kevin Curran, Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Heath streak, etc.
Performances of the Zimbabwean Cricket team have been creditable in their short tenure in the world of Cricket. They had a very average but a fighting unit till 2003 World Cup that knew their limitations and performed accordingly. Alistair Campbell, their most successful captain, in his tenure defeated teams like India, Pakistan, England, Srilanka, New Zealand, etc. in their backyard. Flower brothers (Andy and Grant) were reckoned amongst the best batsman of their era. They have won matches for the team and gave performances that were to be desired for a long time. Their performance in the 1999 World Cup where they beat the likes of South Africa and India and eventually reached the Super Six stage is still considered their memorable moment. They repeated the same performance in 2003 World Cup. However, the guile and finesse they had in that edition was not there. 2007 World Cup was not fruitful for them as they faltered in the first round. They have so far won 8 tests and 79 One Day Internationals.
Dark Period of Zimbabwean Cricket
Zimbabwe Cricket team has seen a slump since the events that took place during the 2003 World Cup that saw Henry Olonga and Andy Flower wear black arm bands during the event and leave the side. The team has lost many valuable players since then for contract rows and now they are left with a bunch of inexperienced young lot. Their performances have also gone down in the past three years with them loosing a lot of matches against minnows like Kenya and Bangladesh. They have not played a test for two years now. There were even talks of stripping them of test status till their political row was over. However, it is expected that under the guidance of Coach Kevin Curran and Captain Prosper Utseya, they will get back the respect that they have lost. The youth and exuberant players of Zimbabwe are getting ready to take on the Big Boys of world cricket yet again.