The Voice’s hunky Sub-Editor, George Moore has on several occasions asked me to write about Sport-related issues, especially Cricket.
So this week I decided to make him happy.
Though I know it’s not the type of piece to put a smile on his face, at least I have for once written about his favourite sport.
Cricket is big in Zimbabwe and the national team has fared reasonably well in the international arena.
Over the years the team and some players have also had frosty relations with the government of the day.
In 2003, the country’s first black test cricketer, Henry Olonga and then captain Andy Flower staged the famous black-armband protest during a World Cup match to mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe.
This was in the wake of white farmers’ land being seized by the late Robert Mugabe led government and the rise in cases of human rights abuse.
After that, a number of matches between the local team and other countries were boycotted with Mugabe accusing the team of fighting in the ‘white man’s corner’ since cricket was and still is considered an elite sport.
Since that time, the national cricket team has really not being involved with the government.
Things, however, changed this week when the team administration wined and dined with President Emmerson Mnangagwa as they launched the Visit Zimbabwe campaign.
Under this initiative, the national cricket team, whether on the field of play, training or travelling, will always wear shirts bearing the Visit Zimbabwe, a World of Wonders branding on the sleeve.
The campaign is aimed at boosting the country’s tourism sector.
The move did not go down well with some cricket fans, who felt the team should have kept its distance from the regime.
‘Learnt nothing, forgot nothing. Involving themselves with ED Mnangagwa will likely end in tears when countries start boycotting matches because of ED presiding over gross abuse of human rights in Zim, just like in Mugabe era, are we so smart’ tweeted journalist Tichaona Zindoga.
Zimbabwe is already under the spotlight for human rights abuse issues following a crackdown on opponents and scribes who are seemingly anti the current administration.
Nevertheless, I once again choose to be optimistic and hope this campaign will yield the intended results so that in the end all those involved cry tears of joy and not of despair.
In other news, teachers are still on strike with no hope that the industrial action will end anytime soon.
Schools opened on September 26 for the exam classes but no lessons are on-going in most schools as teachers demand a salary increase.
The average salary for teachers now stands at US$50 (P500) a month, a pathetic income as it is not even enough for rentals of a two bed-roomed house!